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Data Source: Zamparo P, Bonifazi M (2013). Bioenergetics of cycling sports activities in water.

Coded for Swimming Science by Cameron Yick

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World Record Analysis: Women's 200 Fly


In 1958, Nancy Ramey went a 2:40.5 in the 200 fly which stood for less than a year as the dutchwomen Lagerber went a 2:38.9.  This record was broken every year by a group of 5 Americans until 1967 where Ada Kok of the Netherlands went a 2:21.00.  Kok's record was broken by Karen Moe in 1970 which was beat broken by a fellow American (Jones) then Moe took back the record.  Moe held the record until 1973 where Rosemarie Kother of East Germany went a 2:15.45.  Kother's record was broken by fellow Germans until the legendary Mary T. Meagher stepped to the scene in 1979.  Meagher broke the record 5 times with her best swim in Brown Deer, Wisconsin of a 2:05.96 stood for 19 years!  This time was beat in 2001 by Australian's Madaam butterfly Susie O'Neil which stood for two years.  O'Neil's record lasted 4 years until it was broken by Jedrzejczak of Poland.  In 2008, a 19 year old Chinese swimmer named Zige won the Olympics in World Record fashion with an impressive 2:04.18.  This record was broken by DeScenza and Schipper at the 2009 World Championships, but regained in dominating fashion in 2009 as Zige went a staggering 2:01.81!

Australia's butterfly O'Neil a queen held the record in 1999 with a time only .5 faster than her LCM time, 2:05.37.  O'Neil broke her record 2 more tims and held the crown until 2004 when Chinese Yang Yu went a 2:04.04.  Yu's record stood until 2007 where Poland's Jedrezejczak lowered the record by .5.  Nakanishi of Japan broke the Polish mark and in 2009 Zige returned to the scene breaking the record twice during the World Cup circuit with the current mark at 2:00.78 set in Berlin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT_DtIx-a4w

In 1978 at an AAU meet in Austin Nancy Hogshed went a 1:55.74 in the 200 fly.  This record was smashed by Ms. Meagher at the Pepsi Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio with a 1:53.21 in 1980.  Meagher broke the record one more time in 1982 with a blazing time of 1:52.99.  This record stood 20 years until the top SCY swimmer of the past decade (yes I'm nominating her) Natalie Coughlin went a 1:51.91 in 2002.  Coughlin's record stood until Mary DeScenza went a 1:52.28 in 2009.  Later that year, Elaine Breeden of Stanford broke the 1:50.00 barrier at Pac-10 championships with a 1:49.92

Another short comparison since only Zige's 200 SCM fly is available.  During this race Zige holds a steady stroke rate of .85 strokes/second and she averaged a distance per stroke of 1.6 meters/stroke.  She held 11-12 strokes the whole race and averaged 3.2 seconds underwater off each wall. This distance per stroke is only .12 slower than the current 100 LCM WR's distance per stroke. Zige shows her impressive aerobic capacity as she holds the velocity on the last 10 meters on her last two 25s as her 2nd and 3rd 25.

Most Impressive
With only one video to analyze it makes this section more subjective than it is intended, with that said Zige's 200 fly LCM is the most impressive.  She is a natural LCM swimmer, fast tempo, short underwater dolphin kick, and untiring rhythm.  This makes Zige's 200 fly LCM the most impressive. For what it is worth her LCM time converts to a 1:46 in SCY!

WR Analysis: Men's 400/500 Free

The first world record recorded in the 400 LCM free was in 1908 at the Olympic Games.  The United States have won 9 gold medals of the 23 Olympics and there have only been two repeat champions, both Australians Thorpe and Rose.


The LCM event is historic and has even had the great Johnny Weismuller hold the record in the 1920s. This five time wed man did not compare to greats in this generation with his 6 Olympic gold medals, but his 67 world records are hard to fathom nowadays since Phelps' has broken 37 world records.  The record continually progressed and many different countries held the title: Australia, United States, Japan, Sweden, and France held the record from the 20s-50s.  In the mid sixties, Don Schollander of the United States took the title.  Schollander was a decroative athlete winning the Associate Press' athlete of the year in 1964. In the late 60s Mark Spitz held the crown, but after Spitz the record continued to be broken more often than sub 19 second swim in a hi-tech suit.  In '79 Salnikov of Russian brought some consistency to the event holding the crown for 6 years (almost, in 1981 he lost the title). After Salnikov, Michael Gross (3 years) and Kierken Perkins (5 years) held the record, before four time swimmer of the year Ian Thorpe dominated the event. Thorpe held the record for 10 years lowering the record by 3 seconds. In 2009, Paul Biedermann dethroned Thorpe by .01 with the current world record of 3:40.07. Biedermann's race can be seen at the link below.

The 90s of the SCM 400 free was dominated by Australians. Danyon Loader held the record for 3 years, until Thrope took over the record for one year until the other great Australian freestyler took the crown, Grant Hackett. Hackett held this title for a decade (what a coincidence) until once again Biedermann took the record with a 3:32.77. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4BtKD0AS1k


Mike O'Brien of USC held the record in 1985 with a 4:13.06. This record was proceeded by Artur Wojdat of Iowa in 1989.  In 1994 Chad Carvin broke this record by .3 at the NCAA championships. The next year the exercises induced asthmatic Tom Dolan of Michigan set the bar high, 4:08.75.  This record stood for 11 years until a fellow Wolverine, Peter Vanderkaay, broke his title with a 4:08.60.  Vanderkaay still holds the record with a 4:08.56 set in 2008.
peter.jpg image by kastawayswimwearMr. Biedermann has dominated middle distance races over the past few years.  He has demolished the SCY record holder and any American at international competitions.  This is most evident was at Berlin during his SCM WR swim.  Unfortunately, the SCY video is unavailable which has become a trend with the SCY records older than 2 years old, therefore the two Biedermann races will be compared. These races are virtually identical, making the analysis straight forward. Biedermann's SCM race averages .1 m/s faster than his LCM race. This may be contributed to turns, but even Biedermann's first 25 of each 50 in his LCM race is .05 m/s slower. Biedermann's LCM race utilizes a longer distance per stroke, averaging .2 meters/stroke more than his SCM race most notably seen in the last 50 of the race. The stroke rates for each race are nearly identical, but his SCM race is .03 strokes/second more than his LCM race.  This difference is smaller than expected since he is traveling at a higher velocity throughout the race. As expected, his break out times and speeds are virtually the same, going only .1 second loner underwater in the SCM race. 

Most Impressive
It is evident both of Biedermann's races are nearly identical and Vanderkaay's record is not on the same level.  The Swimming World time converter (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/results/conversions.asp)puts both of Biedermann's records within one tenth of one another, 4:03 low in SCY...that would be something to witness! The Illinois swimming time converter (http://www.ilswim.org/timeconversion.htm) believes the SCM swim is superior to the LCM time by nearly a second.  However, converting swimming times is a flawed science and through my analysis the LCM race is the most impressive. Biedermann went this time at the biggest stage, with the best competition, had a better DPS with nearly identical stroke rate.  These reasons make it the most impressive!

Mr. Biedermann you don't have to bow to Mr.
Phelps' in this race. 

WR Analysis: Men's 200 IM

The 200 IM is one of the most exciting races in swimming. It uses all four strokes allowing swimmers to strategically pace and plan their attack. One may argue breaststrokers have an advantage in the event, but none of the following WR holders' primary stroke is breaststroke.

Over the past 50 years this event has improved 36 seconds! In 1956, George Harrison of the United States went a 2:30.7 to hold the title for less than a year. Through the rest of the 50s and 60s the record was exchanged between American hands. In the early 70s, Gary Hall Sr. held the title at 2:09.6. Gary Hall Sr. and Gunnar Larsson exchanged records in the early 70s until Larsson of Sweeden won the Olympics smashing Hall's record with a 2:07.17. Throughout the rest of the 70s and early 80s no one held the WR for more than 2 years until Alex Baumann of Canada went a 2:01.42 and held the crown for 3 years. Tamas Darnyi broke the two minute barrier in 1991 which held for 3 years until Jani Sievinen of Finald went a remarkable 1:58.16. Sievinen's record held for 9 years until Phelps' 1:57.94 at Santa Clara. Phelps continuously broke his record through the 21st century lowering it to 1:54.23 until Ryan Lochte slipped under Phelps' mark with a 1:54.10 set in 2009 at World Championships.

Jani Sievinen dominated the 90s in the 200 SCM IM with his top time in 1994 at 1:54.65. In 2000 Attila Czene of Hungary tied Sievinen's mark. These two continued to hold the crown until George Bovell went a 1:53.93. Bovell's mark was broken by Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, but the record has been broken annually since Bovell's mark. Darian Townsend of South Africa currently holds the top mark with a 1:51.55 which he set in 2009.

George Bovell went a 1:42.66 in 2003. Bovell held this record until Lochte began his tear at the University of Florida. From 2005, Lochte continually advanced his record which is currently a 1:40.08, just short of breaking the 1:40 barrier.

Lochte and Townsend are completely different swimmers. Townsend a freestyler by trade and Lochte a backstroke are an interesting combination to hold the IM world records. Lochte has a slighly better start, reaching the 15 m at a velocity of 3.2 m/s, but Townsend catches up the rest of the fly leg as both hit the 25 with a velocity of 2.3 m/s. Due to the turn, Townsend's 2nd 25 of fly has a slightly faster velocity by .1 m/s. Over the butterfly legs, both swimmers have a distance per stroke of 2.14, but Lochte has a slightly higher stroke rate at .9 strokes/second compared to Townsend's .8 strokes/second. On the backstroke leg, Townsend has a faster stroke rate and a longer distance per stroke by .1, but Lochte has a higher velocity by .3 m/s into the wall. Unfortunately, the breaststroke leg was cut out of Townsend's video, therefore a comparison is not appropriate. However, during breaststroke Lochte had one of his best splits as he held of Cseh and caught Pereira. During this leg he average a velocity of 1.55 m/s with a velocity of 1.37 m/s into the turn. On the freestyle leg, Townsend has a faster velocity by .1 seconds, but Lochte has a great finish, .3 m/s faster than Townsend!

All these records are impressive, but one must be the most impressive. All signs point to Lochte's 200 IM LCM as the most impressive record and I must agree. Beating Phelps' WR to take the title was quite a feat for Lochte. Townsend also beat Phelps head to head for his WR, but this was during the World Cup circuit where Mr. Phelps' was still recovering from his time away from the pool. For this reason and the comparison in velocities Lochte's 200 IM LCM is the most impressive!

WR Analysis: Women's 100 Fly

Well I'm not going to lie, this analysis will be short since only one video was available online.
From 1957-1965, the record exchanged hads rapidly. In 1965 a swimmer from Holland, Ada Kok...I want to hear that pronuciation, went a 1:04.5. Her record was broken by Alice Jones of the United States which stood for one year. In 1977, Christiane Knacke broke the 1:00 with a 59.78. Knacke of East Germany continued the East German reign until Mary T. Meagher's stepped to the scene. In 1980, Mary T. Meagher went a 59.26 which she better to a 57.93 in 1981. This nearly stood for 20 years but was broken by Jenny Thompson in 1999. Thempson's record was destroyed by Inge de Bruijn with a 56.69. De Bruijn lowered her record to 56.61 at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and held until 2009 when Sarah Sjostrom went a 56.06 at Rome. (Here is the link of the stream goes down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs5Nf9iQ4LE)

In 1995 Limin Liu broke the world record by two seconds with a 56.68. Following her record Misty Hyman and Ayari Aoyama held the record for a year, respectively. Jenny Thompson broke Aoyama's record and stayed on the top of the leaderboard by 4 years. Following Thompson various swimmers held the record including Coughlin, Lenton, Trickett (oh wait same person), and Jessicah Schipper. The record is currently held by Diane Bui Duyet of France with a 55.05.

In 1997, Mimi Bowen went a 52.05 which was broken by Misty Hyman with a 51.34. Hyman was succeeded by Georgia Healey with a 51.01 in 1999. This record was destroyed by Natalie Coughlin who currently holds the record at 50.01 set in 2002.
Sarah Sjostrom's world record was an amazing swim, especially the second 50. Sjostrom was out in a 26.9 finishing into the wall with a velocity of 1.6 m/s. Her distance per stroke was 2.14 meters/stroke and her stroke rate was 1.63 strokes/second on the first 50. She brought home her second 50 in 29.12, picking up her stroke rate to 2.2 strokes/second. To accomplish this her distance per stroke dropped to 1.8 meters/stroke, but the tradeoff was worth it as her closing
velocity was the same as her velocity into her first turn! Without a video comparison it is difficult to choose a most impressive world record without bias, but I feel Sjostrom's record is the top of the list, closely followed by Coughlin's swim which is approaching a decade old.

WR Analysis: Men's 100 Back

The 100 back has changed sporadically since the creation of the event. Flip turns, starts, and the distance of underwater kicking have all changed. These changes have lead to vast speed improvements in the race. Lets take a look at each distance.


The first man under the 1:00 barrier was Thomas Mann clock 59.6 in 1964. A few American men broke Mann's record before the German Roland Matthes' continuily broke the record, his best time occuring in 1972 with a 56.30. Matthes' was the leader in the event from 1967-1976 until the the American swimming legend John Naber went a 56.19 and 55.49. Naber held the record until the early 80s when Rick Carey lowered it to 55.19. Carey's record was broken by Polyansky of Russia. In 1988, the American's returned to dominance holding the record for nearly 22 straight years (excluding Aschwin Wildeboer of Spain's 7 day reign). During the American tear, Jeff Rouse held the record for 8 years, the beloved Lenny Krayzleburg held the record for 5 years and Peirsol held the record for 6 years, except for Wildeboer's brief stint. Peirsol currently holds the record with a 51.94.


The SCM world record has a limited history since the top 25 swims are from November 2008. First, Peter Marshall held the crown in 2004 with a 50.32 until Ryan Lochte broke the 50 second barrier with a 49.99 in 2006. Marshall regained his record in 2008 with a 49.63 which Arkady Vyatchanin in historic fashion dipping below the 49 second barrier. The current world record is held by Nick Thoman from The Duel in the pool where he edged Vyatchanin's record with a 48.94


In 1997, Neil Walker set the bar high with a blazing split under 45 seconds at 44.92. Through the high-tech suit era this time stands as the fourth fastest all time swim! Nine years later Ryan Lochte broke the record with a 44.60 leading off the Florida University 400 medley relay. In the 2010 NCAA championships, Eugene Godsoe went a 44.93 in a textile suit and briefly slower than Walker's 44.92.


Unfortunately there is no video of Lochte’s 44.60 100 back short course yards. This outstanding swim made it through the round of the fastest tech suits unmarked. The other records are recent, set within the past year. In those races, Thoman has a slightly better start and breakout at the 15 meter mark, hitting the marker with a velocity of 2.6 m/s, nearly passing 15 meters. Peirsol had a velocity of 2.4 m/s at the same mark. Into the wall, Peirsol has the edge over Thoman, charging the wall with a velocity .3 m/s faster than Thoman. Peirsol has a higher stroke rate compared to Thoman by .2 strokes/second at 1.6 strokes/second. Peirsol averaged a longer distance per stroke throughout the race, which is impressive since he swam more water on top of the water compared to Thoman. In fact, Thoman swam 15 seconds less on top of the water compared to Peirsol, but his distance per stroke was .05 meters/stroke longer. This value is minimal, but any distance longer is impressive.

Most Impressive

In passing, Peirsol's record looks to be the most impressive since his record was against better competition. Swimming World time converter agrees suggesting his 100 back converts to a 43.37! These things solidify his reign in the record books and the coveted most impressive world record in the 100 back!

WR Analysis: Women's 100 Free

Due to the NCAA championships there has been a delay in the WR compaison, but this we are back on track! Today I will be looking at the women’s 100 free. The women’s 100 free world records are currently held by three different women, from three different countries. Two of these women have been retired recently, but it appears Natalie Coughlin had enough dancing and is trying to make a Torrescomback. Let’s get into the history of the event:

The 100 free is one of the oldest records around, Wikipedia has world records dating to 1908! If you were wondering the German Martha Gerstung went a 1:35. In 1936, the dutch swimmer Willy den Ouden went a staggering 1:04.6 which stood for an unmatched 20 years! Folling Ouden’s run a sleugh of Australians exchanged the records until the 70s when the East Germans starting using HGH, oh wait they don’t play MLB, theey were using steroids. Jenny Thompson broke the steroid driven East German Krause’s record with a time of 54.48. Jingyi Le of China broke Thompson’s record and held for 6 years until Inge de Bruin broke the 54 second barrier with a time of 53.80. In 2004, Libby Lenton/Trickett/pick one damn name broke de Bruin’s record and since her and Britta Steffen have been exchanging the record. Germany’s Britta Steffen currently holds the record, 52.07. She broke this record at the 2009 Wrold Championships against Libby Lenton and an impressive group of competitors.


Germany’s van Almsick held the record in 1993 with a 53.33 until China’s Jingyi Le went a 53.01 in the same year. Le’s record stood for 6 years until Therese Alshammer broke the 53 second barrier with a time of 52.80 in 1999 and a 52.17 in 2000. Libby Lenton broke the 52 second barrier in 2005 with a 51.91. Since this swim, Lenton has dominated the record book , breaking the record two more times until she reached her current world record 51.01.


Women’s NCAA finished two weeks ago and none of the competitors gave the 100 free record a scare (.76 from the current record). In 1999, Inge de Bruin went a 47.70. In 2000, Natalie Coughlin went a 47.00 at the NCAA championships. This record stood until she she broke her own record, breaking the 47 second barrier with a 46.85, which is the current “world” record. To be honest, I would have loved to see Lenton swim this race in a Jaked suit, it had a 46 low written all over it!


Unfortunately, I could not find a video of Coughlin’s race, therefore the analysis will mainly be a dual comparison, but the dancing stars 100 free isn’t in the running for the top record in freestyle anyway! Both Lenton and Steffen are great 50 and 100 meter freestyles who have competed head to head on numerous occasions. Neither are extraordinary underwater swimmers, but Steffen’s arch nemesis is underwater kicking, averaging a breakout time of only 2.73 seconds compared to Lenton’s breakout time of 3.4 second average. Steffen averaged .5 seconds faster to the 15 meter mark off each wall as well. In the last 15 meters into the wall Steffen averaged .2 m/s faster than Lenton. Over the entire race Steffen took 15 more strokes, despite this both of these swimmers had a stroke rate (strokes/second) average at 1.7. Steffen had a distance per stroke of 1.11 nearly .2 meters/stroke greater than Lenton’s .93. Lastly, Lenton had a drop off of 9% on her second 50 more than double Steffen’s drop off of 4.3%.

Most Impressive

If it wasn’t clear from the analysis, Steffen’s record is substantially better than Lenton’s in all areas of the race. With that said, it is official Steffen’s 100 LCM world record is the most impressive.

2001-2010 NCAA Comparison

In an article I published Monday, it was determined the Men's 2010 NCAA results were .84% slower than 2009. This is a staggering number nearly 3x slower than the women! Looking at one year allows one to peek into the history of the results, but a longer analysis is needed to compare the multiple variables present in swimming. Annual variables for the NCAA include different: swimmers and coaches, swim training, dryland and resistance training, venues, and tapers. These variables will change throughout the years, but should change linearly. For example, the whole NCAA will not adopt a new effective training program in one year, it takes years to be accepted by the masses as an “effective” way of training. Recently (especially from 2008-2009) other variables have been thrown into the mix, most notably swim suit legality and one could include mass illness . These variables, as seen below, are not linear and more exponential. However, what is the average improvement from year to year at men's NCAA and what caused this tremendous increase? The first of these questions is straight forward, the latter is impossible to answer correctly, but I will discuss some variables in the equation.

2001-2005:Market Introduction Era
During this period, body suits were just hitting the scene and in product development this stage is entitled the market introduction era. During this time, everyone was wide eyed and naïve about the new suits which allowed high school boys to swim without the possible embarrassment of a nut falling out of their speedo, termed the anchor! At this time, no one had broken the 19 second barrier in the 50 free, Michael Phelps was still wearing diaper...maybe not exactly. Anyway, the average percentage yearly improvement was .06%, equating to .015 seconds per 50. This annual difference was fairly minimal, but steady except for the only other percentile decrease in 2005, decreasing .08%.

2006-2008: Growth Stage
In the growth stage, the percentage of swimmers wearing full body suits was increasing exponentially. Now, swimmers were not just using these suits to taper, but collegiate teams wore them at dual meets and even in practice! The advantages of the new suits was evident and new companies evolved to development these hi-tech suits to battle with the few companies in the market. Annual percentile improvement increased to .21% per year, .05 per 50. In 2007, the percent of improvement leaped to .40%, but returned around the average in 2008 with an increase of .16%.

2009: Maturity Stage:
At this stage, the sales were beginning to peak as every swimmer owned at least one hi-tech suit, but the leading suit was changing rapidly. One second Blue Seventy had the top suit, next Speedo, then an unheard company called Jaked had the best swimsuit in the swimming game! At this point, annual percentage improved increased to an outstanding 1.15%! 1.15% is almost .2 seconds per 50! No wonder records were dropping like Phelps' sponsors after a college dormitory party!

Past Decade
Over the past ten years, the average annual percentile improvement was .14%. In comparing
results from 2001 to 2010, the improvement was a remarkable 1.55% and 2010 showed a remarkable improvement of .31%. These results are encouraging and suggest 2009 was an outlier due to one non-linear variable, swim suits. These suits obviously improved swimming and advanced the sport in numerous manners and as a swim fan it is still difficult for me to watch the sport take a step backward when endorsements and new companies were bringing energy and coverage to the sport I love. These improvements followed with improved research and development into the sport, helping to expand the audience. However, the suit ban is a thing of the past and numerous arguments have been made for both sides, but one thing is clear the suits helped and I would suggest between .6-.8%.

2010-2009 Men's NCAA Comparison

NCAA championships are all over! Congrats to all swimmers for an exciting team race and overall great meet. I am going to do a quick analysis of this year's results compared to last year and later this week will compare the percent difference to years in the past.

Overall 2010 was .84% slower than 2009. This difference was most notably seen in the 1st place winners, as seen in the 200 IM which the winner was 2.45% or 2.46 seconds slower! Freestyle and butterfly events were an average 1% slower whereas back and breast were roughly .75% slower. The 50 free was 1.1% slower than 2009, races 100 and 200 yards were .8% slower and relays were .83% slower.

A one year comparison does not allow anyone to hypothesis what made this difference, because from year to year swimmer's switch teams, coaches, miss tapers, and in this case get sick on a plane from Dallas Fort Worth. These variable are present each year and with an annual comparison one can make hypothesis on the average percent difference from year to year. However, this past year the hi-tech suits were deemed illegal, putting another variable in the mix. As I said, I will be comparing the past ten years and post the results this week, which will give us a glimpse into average time dro

Stats Sunday: Men's 100 Breast

Back again with another installment of Stats Sunday. Today the Men's 100 breast will be analyzed, a record in which the oldest time in the all time top ten comes from the 2008 Olympics. Anyway, here are the records:

Cameron Van Der Brugh: 100 SCM 55.61 (25.98/29.63)

Brenton Rickard: 100 LCM 58.58 (27.67/30.91)

Damir Dugonjic: 100 SCY 50.86 (23.45/27.41)

Lets start by looking at Van Der Brugh's swim. This South African has great speed, owning most of the 50 breast records and this race is no different. He flys to a 5.9 second 15 m split and despite his shorter turn times (~5.5 seconds), he manages to get great distance per turn (DPT, (attributed to an impressive dolphin kick) and only average 6.25 strokes per lap, which is less than Dugonjic's 6.5 strokes per lap in SCY! Van Der Brugh had a stroke rate of 1.45 seconds/stroke, showing his great DPS. However, with great speed comes great drop off and he slows 12.3% on the second 50.

Rickard's race strategy is a bit different from Van Der Brugh as he finishes with great speed. This Aussie uses his 6'4" frame to barrel through his first 50 in a 27.67, only slightly slower than Van Der Brugh who took the same race out in a 27.54. Despite being behind at the 50, Rickard picks up steam during the second 50, easily passing up Van Der Brugh, taking 20 strokes the second 50 and only decrease 10.4% in velocity. Rickard has a stroke rate of 1.22 seconds/stroke on the second 50, likely the reason behind his superior second 50.

Dugonjic, the Cal Bear is the only swimmer to break 51 seconds in SCY and did it by a margin of .14. Dugonjic has a high stroke rate throughout his race, .955 seconds/stroke. and gets out in a 23.45. During his second 50 he continues his fast stroke rate, but loses his catch slowing down 14.4%.

Overall, these records are impressive and Dugonjic breaking 51 seconds catches my eye. However, the analysis proves otherwise. He has impressive take out speed, but not as impressive as Van Der Brugh and he slows down 2% more than Van Der Brugh and 4% slower than Rickard. This leaves us between Van Der Brugh and Rickard. Rickard's swim is impressive since he beat Van Der Brugh in his WR breaking swim, but Van Der Brugh has been on fire lately and I feel SCM fits his swimming style more than LCM. Moreover, Van Der Brugh would have destroyed the top breaststroker at the duel in the pool, Mike Alexandrov, suggesting his record is more legit the other recent SCM WRs. Lastly, Van Der Brugh's time converts to unreal SCY and LCM swims. His time supposedly converts to a 57.63 LCM and a head scratching 49.83 SCY! I agree these conversions are not the best, but along with the other facts it suggests the 21 year old South African has the most impressive 100 breast WR.

What do you think?

By G. John Mullen founder of the Center of Optimal Restoration, Swimming World Magazine Columnist, creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.

Men's 100 Free World Record Analysis

The World Record Comparisons are a fun "objective" method for comparing World Records. Since one person does pick the most "impressive", it is clear this is a subjective opinion, purely for fun and swimming discussion.

First up is the Men's 100 free, why the 100 free? It is relatively short and it was easiest to find videos of the races. The WRs are:
Cielo 40.92 SCY
Cesar Cielo 46.91 LCM
Leveaux 44.94 SCM

All of these records are impressive on their own level and all three break barriers (41, 47 and 45). When breaking down the races, it came down to a great underwater and 2nd half swimmer, Leveaux, and a powerful, complete racer of Cielo. Leveaux's percent difference for his 2nd 50 was only 6.4% slower than his first 50 compared to Cielo's 6.95% slower 2nd 50 in SCY and 10.39% slower 2nd 50 in LCM (LCM should be slower, because it's easier to maintain speed on turns). In Leveaux's 2nd 25, he preserves his arms by kicking underwater for 4.8 seconds! Cesar only went half of that time under water and Cesar took 2 more strokes (12 to 10) a huge difference considering we're comparing SCY to SCM. Cielo's first 50 LCM (22.17) converts to a 19.07 SCY (maybe the swimming world converter has a few flaws, that seems a little too quick)! This is more than .5 seconds faster than his first 50 split in his 50 SCY record. However, Leveaux's second 50 converts to a unreal 20.81 SCY time! This back half speed is equally if not more impressive.

Now to pick a most impressive WR. Once again these are all impressive WRs, but if only one must be chosen then I'm going to go with......The Frenchman Amaury Leveaux!!!! I know I'm going to catch some heat on this pick, but objectively it is the best pick and I'll explain why. When he broke the WR in Croatia, he beat the field by .9 seconds and is currently .52 faster than anyone else ever in the event. One may argue, well not everyone swims SCM or they don't taper for these meets, but his times also convert (46.28 LCM and 40.27 SCY) to faster times than either of Cielo's WRs. It was hard not to pick Cielo's 100 LCM record (that was a great race within the field) but this one goes to the lanky 6'7" Frenchman who will be singing La Marseillaise all day long.

What do you all think? If anyone has better videos or statistics, share them or if anyone has conflicting data.

By G. John Mullen founder of the Center of Optimal Restoration, Swimming World Magazine Columnist, creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.