The performances of 335 male and female swimmers competing in 50-, 100-, and 200-m freestyle events at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games were videotaped and analyzed to determine stroke length (SL), stroke rate (SR), starting time (ST), turning times (TI = turn in, TO = turn out), finishing (end) time (ET), and average velocity (AV); relationships were then determined among these variables in addition to height, weight, age, and final time (FT). Differences were subsequently assessed within and among the events, and comparisons were made between male and female performances. ST, TI, TO, ET, and SL were identified as principal components of successful swimming performance at each distance. Results revealed statistically significant correlations between factors for all events. The men were older and taller; possessed longer stroke lengths; and started, turned, and swam faster than the women. As the race distance increased from 50 to 200 m, ST, TI, TO, SL, and ET increased for both men and women, while age, SR, and AV decreased.
R. Arellano is with the Facultad de las Ciencias de la Educacion Fisica Y el Deporte, Universidad de Granada, Carretera de Alfacar, 48, 18011 Granada, Spain. P. Brown and R.C. Nelson are with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802. J. Cappaert is with the International Center for Aquatic Research, USOC, 1750 E. Boulder St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909-5760. Request reprints from R.C. Nelson.