A total of six male and six female sprinters at the same national competition level and aged 18-20 years performed a force/velocity test and a 30-s supramaximal exercise test (Wingate test) on 2 different days, separated by a maximal interval of 15 days. The maximal anaerobic power (Wmax) was determined from the force/velocity test, and the mean anaerobic power (W) from the Wingate test. Immediately after the Wingate test, a 5-ml venous blood sample was drawn via a heparinized catheter in an antebrachial vein for subsequent catecholamine (adrenaline and noradrenaline) analysis. After 5 min recovery a few microliters of capillary blood were also taken for an immediate lactate determination. Even expressed per kilogram lean body mass, Wmax and W were significantly lower in women. The lactate and adrenaline responses induced by the Wingate test were also less pronounced in this group whereas the noradrenaline levels were not significantly different in men and women. Above all, very different relationships appeared between lactate, adrenaline, noradrenaline and W according to sex. Thus, as reported by other authors, the adrenergic response to a supramaximal exercise seemed to be lower in women than in men. Nevertheless a different training status between the two groups, even at same national competition level, could not be excluded and might contribute, at least in part, to the gender differences observed in the present study.