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The role of nationality in ultra-endurance sports: the paradigm of cross-country skiing and long-distance running


Knechtle, Beat; Rosemann, Thomas; Nikolaidis, Pantelis Theo (2020). The role of nationality in ultra-endurance sports: the paradigm of cross-country skiing and long-distance running. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7):2543.

Abstract

Although the variation of performance by nationality in endurance sports such as marathon has been well studied, little information exists so far on the role of nationality on performance in ultra-endurance sports. The aim of the present study was to review the role of nationality on cross-country skiing and ultra-endurance running. Scopus and PubMed were searched using the syntax "nationality AND (ultra-endurance OR ultra-marathon OR cross-country skiing) in 1/4/2020. This search identified 17 articles, whose references were further examined for relevant literature. It was observed that Russian athletes dominated ultra-endurance running and cross-country skiing races. It was shown that these races were in other countries, where it was assumed that only the best Russians competed. Potential explanations could be misuse of performance enhancing substances, historical, climate-geographical and psychophysiological (e.g., combination of genetic and social factors). In summary, recent studies found a dominance of Russian athletes in specific races (i.e., 'Comrades Marathon', 'Vasaloppet', and 'Engadin Ski Marathon') and disciplines (i.e., ultra-marathon running, cross-country skiing) over a period of several decades. Future studies are need to investigate other events and other sport disciplines to confirm this Russian dominance.

Abstract

Although the variation of performance by nationality in endurance sports such as marathon has been well studied, little information exists so far on the role of nationality on performance in ultra-endurance sports. The aim of the present study was to review the role of nationality on cross-country skiing and ultra-endurance running. Scopus and PubMed were searched using the syntax "nationality AND (ultra-endurance OR ultra-marathon OR cross-country skiing) in 1/4/2020. This search identified 17 articles, whose references were further examined for relevant literature. It was observed that Russian athletes dominated ultra-endurance running and cross-country skiing races. It was shown that these races were in other countries, where it was assumed that only the best Russians competed. Potential explanations could be misuse of performance enhancing substances, historical, climate-geographical and psychophysiological (e.g., combination of genetic and social factors). In summary, recent studies found a dominance of Russian athletes in specific races (i.e., 'Comrades Marathon', 'Vasaloppet', and 'Engadin Ski Marathon') and disciplines (i.e., ultra-marathon running, cross-country skiing) over a period of several decades. Future studies are need to investigate other events and other sport disciplines to confirm this Russian dominance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Physical Sciences > Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Language:English
Date:8 April 2020
Deposited On:02 Jun 2020 14:49
Last Modified:01 Aug 2020 18:49
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:1660-4601
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072543
PubMed ID:32276349

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