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ehoch
July 23rd, 2009, 02:19 PM
I have been following some the FINA suit talk going on right now and it seems quite possible that they may go back to all textile suits - pre 2008 starting next year. If that happens, how long will some of these records stand ?

Tom Jager did a 21.8 in 1990 ... Popov dropped it to 21.64 in a questionable race ... sub 21 may take 30+ years.

J. Skinner went 49.44 in 1976 --Biondi did a 48.4 in 1988 Hoogenbaand went 47.8 in 2000 .... sub 47 would take another 25 years.

Chris Stevenson
July 23rd, 2009, 04:55 PM
Similar things were said after the East German and Chinese drug-assisted records.

Frank Thompson
July 23rd, 2009, 05:01 PM
[QUOTE=ehoch;187590]I have been following some the FINA suit talk going on right now and it seems quite possible that they may go back to all textile suits - pre 2008 starting next year. If that happens, how long will some of these records stand ?

Tom Jager did a 21.8 in 1990 ... Popov dropped it to 21.64 in a questionable race ... sub 21 may take 30+ years.

What was questionable about Popov race when he did :21.64? There was video evidence posted on this website that says otherwise, meaning his time was legit and he performed his swim in a sanctioned time trial that was approved by FINA.

ehoch
July 23rd, 2009, 06:04 PM
Similar things were said after the East German and Chinese drug-assisted records.

That is actually not quite true -- out of that era, (in my mind) 5 records truly stand out -- and 4 of those were set by female American swimmers. Meagher's fly records (100 and 200), Janet Evans 400 and 800 Free, and the 4:36 in the 400 IM by Schneider. So even then the Americans were on par with the East Germans (at least in the 80s) -- unless of course the Americans were assisting in the same way as the East-Germans - which I have never really heard about.

If they go back to the pre 2008 suits, nobody will even approach 21 seconds for a 20 years + --- I bet they would start changing the records back or keep 2 sets. The rate of improvement in Freestyle is simply not that great any more.

About Popov's swim -- not sure what his second fastest swim ever was, but I don't think he was ever within 2/10th of the time -- open lanes next to you, maybe a favorable starter do seem to make a difference.

Frank Thompson
July 23rd, 2009, 07:39 PM
About Popov's swim -- not sure what his second fastest swim ever was, but I don't think he was ever within 2/10th of the time -- open lanes next to you, maybe a favorable starter do seem to make a difference.

I disagree with your assessment about a favorable starter because I saw no evidence on the video which I linked here where this happened. I especially don't think he got that much of an advantage on the start compared to Rowdy Gaines's start in the 100 meter Free at the 1984 Olympic where I disagree with you also because he studied the starter and took advantage of that opportunity and none of the other swimmers who could have done that, did not.

YouTube - Alexander Popov 50m Freestyle World Record

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=5672&highlight=time+trial

21.64 - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums


I also provided links to a discussion we had about this time trial and other time trials. Alex Popov was the first swimmer to go under :22.00 in a competitive meet and he went :21.91 in the 50 meter free at the 1992 Olympics. Tom Jager went :21.81 and Matt Biondi went :21.85 and they did those times swimming a lane apart in a time trial setting in the Nashville Sprint made for TV prize money races in March 1990.

The best times that Tom Jager and Matt Biondi did outside those swims in competition were Biondi at the 1992 Olympics at :22.09 and Jager at :22.12 from the 1989 Pan Pac meet in Tokyo and that time was the WR before the Nashville swims.

If we analyze these time trial swims of Popov, Biondi, and Jager the differences are very close and not out of the ordinary. Popov at .27 (:21.91 to :21.64), Biondi at .24 (:22.09 to :21.85) and Jager at .31 (:22.12 to :21.81). Popov pointed out in an interview with Kelvin Juba many years ago that he had 4 other swimmers in the pool when he swam his time trial (and video evidence proves this) and Jager and Biondi had no one but themselves swimming one lane apart in the Nashville 50 free final.

So from this analysis above I see no reason for you to question the 2/10 of a second because these other swimmers had the same variance in exact like conditions.

So I believe he did this as a legit swim in a time trial. It took 8 years for swimmers to go under :22.00 seconds in a competitive meet and in 2000 about 2 months after Popov did this famous swim, Hall and Erving went :21.76 and :21.80 at the 2000 OLY Trials in Indy to get kind of close to the record. In 2005, Roland Schoeman went :21.68 at the 2005 Worlds in Montreal to be real close to the record. Then after that it was the world records of the tech suit era.

swimike
July 23rd, 2009, 07:42 PM
Michael Phelps is concerned that the suits are making the swimmer and the swimmers are not being recognized for their efforts to the extent they were when the textile suits were around. Swimike

Allen Stark
July 23rd, 2009, 08:30 PM
Logic would dictate that the times would take a long time to be matched,but history implies otherwise.From 74-78 the doped up E German women were way ahead of the world.Then swimmers from the rest of the world,notably Meaghers and Caulkins started matching their times.Over all the E Germans continued to hold the records,but they had to keep getting faster to do so.

lefty
July 23rd, 2009, 09:21 PM
If we analyze these time trial swims of Popov, Biondi, and Jager the differences are very close and not out of the ordinary. Popov at .27 (:21.91 to :21.64), Biondi at .24 (:22.09 to :21.85) and Jager at .31 (:22.12 to :21.81). Popov pointed out in an interview with Kelvin Juba many years ago that he had 4 other swimmers in the pool when he swam his time trial (and video evidence proves this) and Jager and Biondi had no one but themselves swimming one lane apart in the Nashville 50 free final.

Time trials are an allowable way to get a record. I don't think they should be, but a rule is a rule. I think Hall's swim was the "best" so if he writes to me I guess I'll send him an award. But no WR!

ehoch
July 23rd, 2009, 09:31 PM
Skip - I think you are making my point about Popov.

Here are best time trials and then best in competition for Biondi, Jager and Popov:

Jager 21.81 to 22.12

Biondi 21.85 to 22.09

Popv 21.64 to 21.91

All 3 did their best times by a wide margin in a time trial. Of course the times are legit, but I do think there seems to be a difference between these races and a regular meet.

Chris Stevenson
July 24th, 2009, 12:05 PM
That is actually not quite true -- out of that era, (in my mind) 5 records truly stand out -- and 4 of those were set by female American swimmers. Meagher's fly records (100 and 200), Janet Evans 400 and 800 Free, and the 4:36 in the 400 IM by Schneider. So even then the Americans were on par with the East Germans (at least in the 80s) -- unless of course the Americans were assisting in the same way as the East-Germans - which I have never really heard about.

If they go back to the pre 2008 suits, nobody will even approach 21 seconds for a 20 years + --- I bet they would start changing the records back or keep 2 sets. The rate of improvement in Freestyle is simply not that great any more.

Which records in your mind stand out in the current era? All you mention are the 50 & 100 free.

I don't think it will take 20-30 years for most records, though in any set of WRs there will always be a small number of durable ones. Think about what the WRs looked like 25 years ago compared to now. But obviously only time will tell.

Freestyle hasn't improved that much? I dunno, most of the current crop of sprinters look incredibly huge/powerful to me. Popov, Jaeger and Biondi all look like twigs by comparison.

The Fortress
July 24th, 2009, 01:05 PM
Which records in your mind stand out in the current era? All you mention are the 50 & 100 free.

I don't think it will take 20-30 years for most records, though in any set of WRs there will always be a small number of durable ones. Think about what the WRs looked like 25 years ago compared to now. But obviously only time will tell.

Freestyle hasn't improved that much? I dunno, most of the current crop of sprinters look incredibly huge/powerful to me. Popov, Jaeger and Biondi all look like twigs by comparison.

There was an article in the WSJ a couple days ago on the size topic. As I recall, it reported on a Duke study on track and swimming sprinters. The conclusion was that both were increasing in size over time. And it wasn't just height; it was total body mass. So perhaps we'll see even more of the Bernard body types in swimming.

lefty
July 24th, 2009, 01:38 PM
This has been suggested by Paul in one of his more brilliant observations:

Guys like Bernard (size/muscle) can swim the way they swim because the suits prevent them from falling apart technique-wise. Put Bernard in a Speedo brief and he will only be able to do straight arm recovery for 60 meters. Guys are getting bigger, no doubt, but I don't think this trend will continue once the suits are gone...

scyfreestyler
July 24th, 2009, 01:45 PM
This has been suggested by Paul in one of his more brilliant observations:

Guys like Bernard (size/muscle) can swim the way they swim because the suits prevent them from falling apart technique-wise. Put Bernard in a Speedo brief and he will only be able to do straight arm recovery for 60 meters. Guys are getting bigger, no doubt, but I don't think this trend will continue once the suits are gone...

How is that?

Animal
July 24th, 2009, 01:56 PM
I think I am go to agree with Lefty. I think you will see swimmers body types go back to more slender body types without the tech suits. I know from my own experience, that cutting the water with more mass makes for slower swimmer. Put a tech suit on me and I go faster because I am more streamlined. Less gut in the way. It may be a while before we see the records set by tech suits fall.

ehoch
July 24th, 2009, 01:59 PM
Fastest 50 Free in the World next Year ???

My guess is 21.65

knelson
July 24th, 2009, 02:01 PM
I'm pretty confident Alain Bernard doesn't have a "gut" tech suit or not.

The Fortress
July 24th, 2009, 02:21 PM
I think I am go to agree with Lefty. I think you will see swimmers body types go back to more slender body types without the tech suits. I know from my own experience, that cutting the water with more mass makes for slower swimmer. Put a tech suit on me and I go faster because I am more streamlined. Less gut in the way. It may be a while before we see the records set by tech suits fall.

Was that Lefty's suggestion? Thought he was being sarcastic .... Lack of a tech suit doesn't seem to have impeded the track stars.

I know to a moral certainty that I am faster now that I'm stronger. Being skinnier would theoretically be nice, but would not be conducive to faster swimming. I have no gut involved though.

lefty
July 24th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Was that Lefty's suggestion? Thought he was being sarcastic .... Lack of a tech suit doesn't seem to have impeded the track stars.

I know to a moral certainty that I am faster now that I'm stronger. Being skinnier would theoretically be nice, but would not be conducive to faster swimming. I have no gut involved though.

I realize now that starting a post with "Paul" and "brilliant" leads to some confusion. I wasn't being sarcastic. I don't know that a big muscular guy like Bernard can hold his technique together for 100M without the compression of the techsuits. But this is Paul's theory, so if you disagree take it up with him...

Ehoch: I'll go with 21.60

orca1946
July 24th, 2009, 03:59 PM
Well, this should be interesting in the sales dept for tech suits in the next weeks !!

Paul Smith
July 24th, 2009, 04:03 PM
Which records in your mind stand out in the current era? All you mention are the 50 & 100 free.

I don't think it will take 20-30 years for most records, though in any set of WRs there will always be a small number of durable ones. Think about what the WRs looked like 25 years ago compared to now. But obviously only time will tell.

Freestyle hasn't improved that much? I dunno, most of the current crop of sprinters look incredibly huge/powerful to me. Popov, Jaeger and Biondi all look like twigs by comparison.

Skeptic to the end eh Chris?

Many of these incredibly huge/powerful swimmers you mentioned have been able to swim with a much faster tempo/straight arm recovery which is greatly assisted by these suits...I'll go out on a limb and say that fad will dimish quickly when this rule goes into effect and a lot of French swimmers won't be making as many finals/setting as many records in the 50/100.

JimRude
July 24th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Skeptic to the end eh Chris?

Many of these incredibly huge/powerful swimmers you mentioned have been able to swim with a much faster tempo/straight arm recovery which is greatly assisted by these suits...I'll go out on a limb and say that fad will dimish quickly when this rule goes into effect and a lot of French swimmers won't be making as many finals/setting as many records in the 50/100.

NCAA 50 YD FREE WINNING TIMES

2009: Adrian, CAL (Go Bears!) in 18.74
2006: Jones in 19.18
2003: Bousquet in 19.31

The suits clearly make a difference, but from the above time progression I am not convinced that it is as great as some people think, especially not for swimmers already in excellent shape.

Now, for fat old ex-Gauchos, that's another story....:banana:

Chris Stevenson
July 24th, 2009, 04:22 PM
Well, let's give the proper credit: I remember Jonty Skinner proposing this idea about the dependency between suit and technique. Maybe someone said it before him, though.

It is an interesting theory. I have no idea if it is correct, but I do believe the straight-arm free sprint pre-dates the LZR and other suits (though it certainly wasn't as popular as now). I don't know about the stroke fad, these things can come and go...but I think that the trend towards bigger/stronger sprinters will continue.

As far as being a "skeptic," it isn't only a matter of the effectiveness of the suits. I just think that once certain times have been achieved, aided or not, then psychologically it is easier to achieve them again, even unaided. How long it takes depends on how effective the suits were, I guess.

But I wonder if the post-suit era will be faster than it WOULD have been if the suits had never been. I bet that's the case.

lefty
July 24th, 2009, 04:36 PM
It is an interesting theory. I have no idea if it is correct, but I do believe the straight-arm free sprint pre-dates the LZR and other suits (though it certainly wasn't as popular as now). I don't know about the stroke fad, these things can come and go...but I think that the trend towards bigger/stronger sprinters will continue.

As far as being a "skeptic," it isn't only a matter of the effectiveness of the suits. I just think that once certain times have been achieved, aided or not, then psychologically it is easier to achieve them again, even unaided. How long it takes depends on how effective the suits were, I guess.


Two theories proposed here, I think they are both plausible. One could point to Bernard's 46 prelims swim, 47 mid finals swim and argue against the second theory, but as you have pointed out it is pretty easy to cherry-pick statistics...