Move like never before

Move Like Never Before is a four-part partnered content feature series presented by Mazda that looks at the ongoing relationship between technology, innovation and sport.

Bigger, stronger, faster, smarter

Stock shot of running man

Technical innovation in sport - it's something we as participants and fans take for granted now.

It could be Grand Prix champion Lewis Hamilton talking to his pit crew throughout his thrilling drive in Austin Texas to win the 2015 Formula One title. Or improvements in the safety standards of cricketers' helmets, following the death of Australian Test batsman Phillip Hughes when a delivery struck him at the top of his neck, in Sydney in 2014.

Perhaps the most interesting development is the introduction of ingestible computers that constantly transmit data on a player's vital functions, such as blood pressure and body temperature.

Athletes in sports as diverse as motor sport, athletics, football and hockey are already using them. It's the latest innovation in the ever-changing world of sports technology.

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The innovation cycle

cyclist wearing helmet

The world's greatest road cycling event is about to move up a gear - if sprint specialist Mark Renshaw has his way. The Australian wants to see yet more technological innovations in the Tour de France, to give viewers a sense that they're almost a part of the gruelling battle to wear the yellow jersey up the Champs Elysees.

The 2015 Tour gave us a glimpse of what might be in store, when onboard footage from miniature cameras showed a dramatic crash in the early stages, with riders banging wheels and and tripping over one another at speed on the slippery road.

That footage - part of a deal which race owners ASO did with Go-Pro to attach cameras to eleven bikes - provided quite a ride for the viewer. But it wasn't live, with vision being uploaded at the end of each racing stage. It's expected that such drama will be broadcast live before too long.

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Up close and personal

view of race track from front wing of a racing car

Micro-cameras, sophisticated graphics and data tracking have changed the nature of sports broadcasting for ever, bringing viewers ever closer to the players' inner sanctum - the field of play.

As well as increasing the entertainment and monetary value of sports, these broadcasting innovations have given fans a greater insight into what it takes to perform as an elite athlete.

As well as increasing the entertainment and monetary value of sports, these broadcasting innovations have given fans a greater insight into what it takes to perform as an elite athlete.

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Training to win in one of the world's toughest sports

Australian rules football being kicked

Australian Football is one of the world's toughest sports. Elite players in the Australian Football League are expected to display sublime football skills under stress, and possess physical strength, resilience, agility, game awareness and endurance.

The hardest-working players run 15 or 16 kilometres every game over 22 rounds of the home-and-away season. Then there is the training.

Every pre-season, players begin the hard work of building fitness levels in November and try to maintain these standards throughout the season until September, while dealing with the demands of interstate travel, potential illness and the constant threat of injury.

If their team successfully negotiates a path to the Grand Final, they continue to play and train for a month beyond this. And if these demands are not already enough, players are being tested even more in 2016 with a limit on the number of interchanges allowed during a game (from 120 to 90) and no fresh substitutes.

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