Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Amazing Swim Performance At Olympics

Some personal thoughts concerning Day 2's swimming action at the Olympics. Top of my list must be how 16 year old Ye Shiwen's time in the 100m freestyle leg was almost faster than men's winner Ryan Lochte in the 400m Individual Medley (58.68s vs 58.65s).

I'm not saying that she is on drugs, but her performance definitely raises some suspicion. Shiwen is only sixteen, and she improved her time by 7 seconds with the 4:35 min she clocked at last year's World Championships by clocking 4:25.43 in the 400 IM.

What strikes me most is how amazing her pacing is.This is how I will explain it.

All our male citizens who have done National Service in Singapore will be required to run a 2.4km run as part of the required physical fitness test. Assuming it was done at a regular 400m track. Now if you ran slowly for the first 5  and a half rounds, it will "easy" for you to sprint the last 200m easily and finish really strong. But if you ran hard from the start, it would not be as easy to finish so strongly.

So our ability to finish fast at the end is related to how much reserve (or I guess "spare tank" is a better option) we have left over. So if Ye Shiwen was racing max out at world record pace, it is truly remarkable that she can produce a super fast sprint at the end.

Based on the fact that she swam almost as fast as Lochte in the last 100m of the race, it suggests that the first 300m of the race took very little out of her. Now imagine if she had "pushed" herself from the first 3 legs of the race, how much quicker can she go?

Well, swimming the medley consists of 100m of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and the front crawl and this may depend on which may be her strongest leg. Front crawl may be her strongest leg so she may have an excellent time in that leg and that may explain why she swam almost as fast as Lochte.

Just my thoughts. Send me your comments.

* Picture by Reuters


  1. I certainly didn't say Ye Shiwen was on drugs. I simply wrote how amazing her pacing was, so don't get me wrong.

  2. Ye Shiwen did a great job, as did youngster Meilutyte who also won gold. But I really wanted to know if Michael Phelps was going to be the most successful Olympian ever. And he is now. Great job!