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knelson
August 25th, 2008, 02:50 PM
After Beijing here are the World (W) and American (A) records that were set prior to 2008:

men
400 free (W)
800 free (W,A)
1500 free (W,A)
50 breast (W,A)
100 breast (A)
200 breast (A)
50 fly (W,A)
100 fly (W,A)

women
800 free (A)
1500 free (W,A)
50 breast (W)
100 breast (W,A)
50 fly (W,A)
100 fly (W)
200 fly (A)

Many of these are events that weren't contested in the Olympics (stroke 50s, men's 800 free and women's 1500 free). Exclude those and the only World Records that were set prior to 2008 are the men's 400 free, 1500 free and 100 fly and the women's 100 breast and 100 fly.

SLOmmafan
August 25th, 2008, 03:02 PM
I was not as suprised as some people are about records being broken in swimming. A couple factors I feel contribute:

1.) Unlike track and field, no one is entirely certain of the human threshold for movement in the water. Case in point, look at the times 50 years ago for the 100 m freestyle vs times in the 100 m dash (track). You will see whole seconds, not merely 10ths and 100ths.

2.) The new international contingent to swimming. A South Korean male swimmer for both Breastrokes, not even begining to mention China, eastern Europe, and other countries previously considered non-competative.

3) The Phelps factor - no one can deny it. This guy alone owns four of the individual world records, plus major contributions to three relays. I would not expect to see a performance like this in this generation - even from Phelps himself in 2012.

Just some thoughts, and I am certain things like the LZR suit have helped too!

justforfun
August 25th, 2008, 03:08 PM
To paraphrase Spike Lee, "Money, it's gotta be the suit!"

If the hypothesis is that all the records are mostly due to the LZR, then that makes the records that survived, either 1) even more impressive, 2) drug enhanced, or 3) done in events where the suit doesn't make that much of a difference.