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Thread: Swimming - now a joke

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Swimming - now a joke

    Stealing this from a radio show, but I think the current controversy re the suits has simply marked the absurd end point of a sport utterly obsessed with records and medals.

    For starters, why are there four strokes competed in at the Olympics and majors? We dont have a running backwards event. What on earth is butterfly? Would anyone ever swim butterfly outside of competition? Guys like Thorpe and Phelps have shown thatthe best freestyle swimmers could dominate the niche strokes if they could be bothered. There should just be distances and you can swim whatever stroke you like - 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500.

    Also, why are there separate events and world records for short course and long course (short course occurring in 25m pools rather than the Olympic 50m)? Again, you don't see any meetings in athletics where the 100m is run as two lengths of a 50m track.

    Grinds my gears tbh. And that's before we get onto the suits.
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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Athletics does have separate indoor records though, partly because the laps are a different length (also due to conditions though, obv).

    Agree on the strokes though, always been miffed that doggy paddle isn't included
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Re: suits (which was touched in another thread), not sure why we should be apologising for better technology.

    Otherwise, I personally reckon Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting's records should be stricken from the books, and Border should still have the test record, since he played with a twig compared to their bats.
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    International Vice-Captain Jungle Jumbo's Avatar
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    I can claim to have pre-empted the ridiculous nature of different strokes by years...

    You know what really grinds my gears?

    /smugness

    I think this is a problem that pretty much all sports based purely on records (especially individual sports) face. Since there is no tactical/technical/mental element to the sport, being based purely on physical ability, records and winning become the only thing that matters. But progress leads to records being continually improved, which leaves the sport in an almost postmodern state, where everything is relative. You can't compare a swimmer of today to a swimmer of 20 years ago because the training and equipment/clothing has changed so much.

    Cricket may be affected by it slightly, but because technique or 'subculture' (the general 'impression' created by a player on the observer, which cannot exist in a sport as shallow as swimming) can be analysed and enjoyed, there is a sense of timelessness about it.

    Hope the above doesn't sound too muddled...


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    Hall of Fame Member Jamee999's Avatar
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    Sorry, but are you kidding? There's no technical element to swimming? You don't think that having a good technique is important?
    Or something.

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    International Vice-Captain Jungle Jumbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamee999 View Post
    Sorry, but are you kidding? There's no technical element to swimming? You don't think that having a good technique is important?
    Sorry I knew I was going to come across as confusing...

    In cricket there are a multitude of technical aspects to the game. From a batsman's trigger movements, to the follow-through; from a bowler's wrist position to his position at the crease etc etc... all are on top of basic 'movements' that are not specifically to do with the game of cricket (e.g. running, diving...possibly extended to throwing and catching).

    In swimming, it is simply a swimming technique - made up of many components (leg movement, arm movement etc) but seeing as there would be a 'perfect' technique (unattainable though it is), which combined with 'perfect' fitness (also unattainable) would create the 'perfect' swimmer. Far more difficult to assess in cricket, purely because it does not rely on as natural movements as swimming.

    In short, there is far less technique to be analysed and deliberated by the casual spectator (as opposed to the biomechanic) in swimming than in cricket.

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Re: suits (which was touched in another thread), not sure why we should be apologising for better technology.

    Otherwise, I personally reckon Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting's records should be stricken from the books, and Border should still have the test record, since he played with a twig compared to their bats.
    Because it's meant to be a competition between two athletes, not their equipment. It undermines the levelness of the playing field.

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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Think the suits are ridiculous myself. They should strike all the records post-the new suits that act like a flotation device off the books and go again. The fact that they're mucking around and waiting to go back to old technology is making the whole thing a farce.

    There's a marked difference between the quality of some equipment improving (eg: golf and cricket) and introducing technology that sees artificial improvement to a large degree by people who wouldn't be getting near the world record without a special suit.

    It'd be a little like a guy who plays off scratch winning the British Open golf because he suddenly had a set of sticks that improved his game by 5 shots a round. He obviously had some ability in the first place, but now he's beating guys who don't use the same clubs.
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    I understand the argument. However how about running shoe technology, and training technology, being remarkably different (not just slightly) from 80 years ago. No doubt sprint athletes are smashing times from previous years greatly due to that.

    Do the swimsuits help? Obviously. Then get everyone on them so we have faster swimmers. If others choose to be sponsored by poorer technology, bad luck.

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    I understand the argument. However how about running shoe technology, and training technology, being remarkably different (not just slightly) from 80 years ago. No doubt sprint athletes are smashing times from previous years greatly due to that.

    Do the swimsuits help? Obviously. Then get everyone on them so we have faster swimmers. If others choose to be sponsored by poorer technology, bad luck.
    Nothing bar steroids have produced comparable improvements in athletics. Running shoes do nothing - Bolt would break world records in a $40 pair of sneakers from KMart. Why not just legalize flippers if all you want is to achieve faster times without improving as an athlete?

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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    I understand the argument. However how about running shoe technology, and training technology, being remarkably different (not just slightly) from 80 years ago. No doubt sprint athletes are smashing times from previous years greatly due to that.

    Do the swimsuits help? Obviously. Then get everyone on them so we have faster swimmers. If others choose to be sponsored by poorer technology, bad luck.
    Still think they are quite different. I was totally against the swimsuits from the beginning (in some of the women's cases no swimsuits at all should be the rule ) You're talking about something that has gradually improved over the years as opposed to something that's totally changed the sport and now means that swimmers will struggle to match current efforts due to the suits being banned.

    As far as I know, shoe technology hasn't added springs to make running easier and (apart from steroids) training technology has become better based on a greater understanding of how to maximise performance. Adding buoyancy to swimming suits has gone beyond incremental improvements and now means that Nigel Nobody owns swimming records they would never have achieved having taken them off people who earned them through training harder and having greater natural ability.

    The 8.5 million world records set at the most recent championships are testimony to the farce it has become.

    If it was me, I'd scrap all records since the suits were introduced (that were set by people wearing them) andhave another go.

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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79 View Post
    Nothing bar steroids have produced comparable improvements in athletics. Running shoes do nothing - Bolt would break world records in a $40 pair of sneakers from KMart. Why not just legalize flippers if all you want is to achieve faster times without improving as an athlete?


    Would love to see that. Or better still, him running 9.76 seconds wearing a pair of $2 thongs from Woolworths (flip flops for those from other countries - not a g-string).

    Totally agree though, it's a little like legalising steroids for a couple of years and then saying "Wait a minute, this is wrong...but we're keeping the records as they are".
    Last edited by Son Of Coco; 11-08-2009 at 04:05 AM.

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    Hall of Fame Member Johnners's Avatar
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    Would put money on Bolt not being able to run sub-10 without spikes and a set of starting blocks tbh.
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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clapo View Post
    Would put money on Bolt not being able to run sub-10 without spikes and a set of starting blocks tbh.
    I'd agree, but do spikes and starting blocks see 20 WR broken every meet?

    What about spiked thongs?

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79 View Post
    Nothing bar steroids have produced comparable improvements in athletics. Running shoes do nothing - Bolt would break world records in a $40 pair of sneakers from KMart. Why not just legalize flippers if all you want is to achieve faster times without improving as an athlete?
    Bolt running 30 years ago wouldn't get his time that he got last year.

    Also, where is the line drawn? Steroids involves significant negative physical effects.

    And your flipper comparison doesn't work, because they are just swimming in a suit that makes them go through the water faster. As long as every one has access to it, its fair game. They're doing the same ****, in clothing that is similar, yet just better technology. They don't have a motor on their arse.

    I don't see people complaining about F1 with faster cars and technological improvements there.

    Its only because swimming has a greater emphasis on records than other sports that this is even an issue.

    Ftr, I agree that banning the suits and keeping the records is stupid. But if the best swimmer races the 5th best swimmer in the suit, the best swimmer will with, just with faster times.

    Btw, I also reckon all of Sangakkara's runs in the past 12 months should be barred because he wears a aerodynamic helmet.
    Last edited by Jono; 11-08-2009 at 08:24 AM.

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