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Andrew Renfree, Graham J. Mytton, Sabrina Skorski and Alan St Clair Gibson

Purpose:

To identify tactical factors associated with progression from preliminary rounds in middle-distance running events at an international championship.

Methods:

Results from the 2012 Olympic Games were used to access final and intermediate positions, finishing times, and season-best (SB) times for competitors in men’s and women’s 800-m and 1500-m events (fifteen 800-m races and ten 1500-m races). Finishing times were calculated as %SB, and Pearson product–moment correlations were used to assess relationships between intermediate and finishing positions. Probability (P) of qualification to the next round was calculated for athletes in each available intermediate position.

Results:

There were no significant differences in finishing times relative to SB between qualifiers and nonqualifiers. In the 800-m, correlation coefficients between intermediate and final positions were r = .61 and r = .84 at 400 m and 600 m, respectively, whereas in the 1500-m, correlations were r = .35, r = .43, r = .55, and r = .71 at 400 m, 800 m, 1000 m, and 1200 m, respectively. In both events, probability of qualification decreased with position at all intermediate distances. At all points, those already in qualifying positions were more likely to qualify for the next round.

Conclusions:

The data demonstrate that tactical positioning at intermediate points in qualifying rounds of middle-distance races is a strong determinant of qualification. In 800-m races it is important to be in a qualifying position by 400 m. In the 1500-m event, although more changes in position are apparent, position at intermediate distances is still strongly related to successful qualification.

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Ralph Beneke

) in 1924. 1 With 258 athletes from 16 nations competing in 9 sports with 16 events, it was a big success. Consequently, in 1925 the IOC decided to have separate Winter Olympic Games each Olympic year and renamed the Chamonix International Winter Sport Week the first Winter Olympics. On February 9

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Robert J. Gregor

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Edited by Richard C. Nelson

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James G. Hay

The purposes of this study were to determine the frequency with which triple jumpers used hop-dominated, balanced, and jump-dominated techniques to achieve their best distances in Olympic competition; whether the use of one of these techniques generally yielded greater actual distances than did the use of the others; and how the actual distances achieved by specific athletes were related to the way in which they distributed their efforts through the three phases. Data were collected at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. About half the competitors used a hop-dominated technique. Balanced and jump-dominated techniques were just as effective as hop-dominated techniques. Four of the top eight finishers tended to use hop percentages that were longer than the optimum for them.

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Yoshiaki Takei

The purpose of the study was to identify mechanical variables that govern successful performance of the handspring with full turn vault. Subjects were 67 male gymnasts from 25 countries performing the vault during the 1992 Olympic Games. The vaults were filmed by two 16-mm Locam II DC cameras operating at 100 Hz. Approximately 80 frames per subject were digitized for each camera view. Direct linear transformation (DLT) was used to calculate the 3-D coordinates of the digitized body points. The method of Hay and Reid (1988) was used to develop a theoretical model to identify the mechanical variables that determine linear and angular motions of the vault. Significant correlations (p < .005) indicated that the following were important determinants for success: large horizontal velocity, large horizontal kinetic energy term, and overall translational kinetic energy term at takeoff from the board; short duration, small vertical displacement of the center of gravity (CG), and small somersaulting angular distance of preflight; large vertical velocity and large vertical kinetic energy term at takeoff from the horse; and large "amplitude of postflight," that is, large horizontal and vertical displacements of CG and long duration of flight; great height of CG during the second quarter-tum in postflight; and small point deduction for landing.

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Yoshiaki Takei

The purpose of the study was to determine the mechanical variables that are related to successful post-flight somersaulting performance of the Roche vault. The 23 Roche vaults performed during the 2000 Olympic Games were filmed by a 16-mm camera operating at 100 Hz. The 2-D direct linear transformation technique was used for spatial calibration. Approximately 60 frames were digitized per vault. The method of Hay and Reid (1988) was used to develop a deterministic model to identify the mechanical variables that govern linear and angular motions of the vault. Correlational analysis was used to establish the strength of the relationship between the mechanical variables identified and the judges’ scores. Significant correlations indicated that the higher judges’ scores were negatively related to five mechanical variables and positively related to seventeen variables in the model. The normalized horizontal displacement of body center of mass (CM) from the knee grasp to the peak of post-flight was the best single predictor of the judges’ score and accounted for 50% of variation in the judges’ score. Finally, the landing point deductions and the official horizontal distance of post-flight collectively accounted for 86% of the variance in the judges’ scores.

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Fiona Pelly, Nanna L. Meyer, Jeni Pearce, Sarah J. Burkhart and Louise M. Burke

The aim of this study was to evaluate the food provision and nutrition support at the London 2012 Olympic (OG) and Paralympic Games (PG) from the perspective of sports nutrition experts attending the event. Participants (n = 15) were asked to complete an online survey and rate on a Likert scale menu qualities, food safety, sustainability practices, nutrition labeling, and provision for cultural needs, dietary regimes and specific situations. Open-ended responses were incorporated to explore expert opinion and areas for improvement. Participants rated their overall experience of the food provision as 7.6 out of 10 (range 5 to 10), with the majority (n = 11) rating it greater than 7. The variety, accessibility, presentation, temperature, and freshness of menu items rated as average to good. A below average rating was received for recovery food and beverages, provision of food for traveling to other venues, taking suitable snacks out of the dining hall and provision of food at other venues. However, the variety and accessibility of choices for Ramadan, and provision of postcompetition food were rated highly. A number of comments were received about the lack of gluten free and lower energy/fat items. The inclusion of allergens on nutrition labeling was considered more important than nutrient content. While dietetic review of the menu in advance of the OG and PG is clearly a valuable process that has resulted in improvements in the food supply, there are still areas that need to be addressed that are currently not implemented during the event.

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Iñigo Mujika, Luis Villanueva, Marijke Welvaert and David B. Pyne

The Olympic Games, taking place every 4 years, and FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) World Championships, which are held in pre- and post-Olympic years, are the 2 preeminent international swimming competitions. Qualifying for these events usually requires that swimmers achieve a fitness

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Janine Coates and Philip B. Vickerman

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games aimed to deliver a legacy to citizens of the United Kingdom, which included inspiring a generation of young people to participate in sport. This study aimed to understand the legacy of the Paralympic Games for children with disabilities. Eight adolescents (11–16 yr) with physical disabilities were interviewed about their perceptions of the Paralympic Games. Thematic analysis found 3 key themes that further our understanding of the Paralympic legacy. These were Paralympians as role models, changing perceptions of disability, and the motivating nature of the Paralympics. Findings demonstrate that the Games were inspirational for children with disabilities, improving their self-perceptions. This is discussed in relation to previous literature, and core recommendations are made.