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taruky
June 21st, 2009, 10:09 PM
I was watching the Jason Lezak olympic swim again and noticed that he got 46 sec flat in his swim. Now the WR for the 100M was set later by Alain Bernard at 46.94. Are relay times normally better and if so, why? Thanks.

Lump
June 21st, 2009, 11:07 PM
Yes, flying start. Meaning that the swimmer coming off the block can be all the way off the block except for the tips of his toes when their relay mate touches. Its like a running start, aka flying start.

Glenn
June 21st, 2009, 11:08 PM
The second, third and fourth swimmers are faster because of a flying start, i.e. they are in motion when the previous swimmer is approaching the wall as opposed to the first swimmer or any other race where you start with the gun. I believe the time differential is up to .6 of a second. In other words the 2nd, 3rd and 4th swimmers on a relay will be about .6 faster on a relay start than with a flat start.

taruky
June 21st, 2009, 11:34 PM
The second, third and fourth swimmers are faster because of a flying start, i.e. they are in motion when the previous swimmer is approaching the wall as opposed to the first swimmer or any other race where you start with the gun. I believe the time differential is up to .6 of a second. In other words the 2nd, 3rd and 4th swimmers on a relay will be about .6 faster on a relay start than with a flat start.
That still makes Lezak's swim unbelievable. Let's say we make that 46 flat a 46.6; still a world record speed.

Lump
June 22nd, 2009, 12:07 AM
In that swim, the time is secondary to everything. It was for a Gold Medal and he came back on the current world record holder. The only other swim I can think being like it was the 4x200 relay with Hayes coming back on Michael Gros to win Gold for the US.

knelson
June 22nd, 2009, 10:12 AM
Lezak also got a little draft advantage from the French swimmer. For a good part of his race he was in a perfect position to draft. Also I would argue you could get even more than .6 seconds from a flying start. Normal reaction time for a non-relay start is at least .7 seconds, so with a .1 second relay exchange you're gaining .6 seconds, but you're also getting the advantage of being able to step forward and swing your arms to gain additional momentum.

That said, Lezak had a sensational swim.

SLOmmafan
June 22nd, 2009, 01:02 PM
Lezak has not even come within 1.5 seconds of doing his relay split in a "normal" 100 m free. I consider that relay split to be the swimming equivalent of a guy lifting up a car to save someone trapped beneath.

3strokes
June 22nd, 2009, 01:20 PM
On top of all the previous comments, in a relay, a swimmer is able to anticipate the virtual gun (i.e., his opponent touching the wall) and therefore reduces his/her normal reaction time to virtually .000000000000001 seconds.