Working through a speaker system is what eliminates any kind of advantage for athletes. It's not a big advantage being close to a gun, but the sound of the bullet traveling one meter every three milliseconds could contribute to a win. Powder pistols have been connected to a speaker system before, but even then, runners could react to the sound of the real pistol firing, rather than wait for the speaker sounds to reach them. This year's setup will have speakers placed equidistant from runners, forcing the sound to reach each competitor at exactly the same time. "It wouldn't be an enormous difference," Omega Timing board member Peter Hürzeler said in an email, "but when you think about reaction times being measured in tiny fractions of a second, placing a speaker behind each lane has eliminated any sort of advantage for any athlete. They all hear the start commands and signal at exactly the same moment."