The Contribution of Starting, Turning, and Finishing to Total Race Performance in Male Paralympic Swimmers

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • | 2 Virginia Commonwealth University
  • | 3 University of Calgary
  • | 4 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • | 5 University of Alberta
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A video race analysis was conducted at the Atlanta Paralympic Games swimming competition. The purpose was to describe the contribution of clean swimming speed, as well as start, turn, and finish speed, to the total race performance in the four strokes for the men’s 100 m events. Start, turn, and finish times, as well as clean swimming speed during four race sections, were measured on videotapes during the preliminary heats (329 swims). Information on 1996 Olympic Games finalists (N = 16) was also available. In Paralympic swimmers, next to clean swimming speed, both turning and finishing were highly correlated with the end race result. Paralympic swimmers do start, turn, and finish slower than Olympic swimmers but in direct relation to their slower clean swimming speed. The race pattern of these components is not different between Paralympic and Olympic swimmers.

Daniel Daly is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy in the Department of Rehabilitation Science at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, 3001 LEUVEN, Belgium. E-mail: <>. Laurie A. Malone is with the Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284. David J. Smith is with the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, Alberta Canada. Yves Vanlandewijck is with the Department of Rehabilitation Science at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Robert Steadward is with the Steadward Centre for Personal and Physical Achievement at the University of Alberta.