進化する記録 本当に水着の効果なのか (1)

2009年06月06日 13:15

以下、Swim Infoからの引用です。(Reference from Swim Info)

Record Evolution: It May Not All Be In the Suit -- June 3, 2009
Guest editorial by David Guthrie

Why the Revolution?

Swimmers are getting faster. Lots of them. A quick review of the 2008 World Rankings boggles the mind, and 2009 is shaping up to be even faster and deeper. Clearly, swimming is in the midst of a revolution. Why the sudden change in the landscape of performance? Why do world records suddenly seem to fall with unprecedented regularity? This current evolutionary leap has many guardians of the sport confused and angry. They point to the new suits as the cause of the upheaval. "These suits are terrible for the sport!" they cry. "It's out of control. These performances are ruining the continuity and the integrity of the sport!"
(記録が止まらない。例外はない。2008年の世界ランクの速報には驚かされる。2009年はさらに加速を見せる。明らかに水泳競技は進化の真っただ中にある。なぜ状況が急激に変化したのか?なぜ一斉に世界記録が空前の更新をされ続けるのか?最近の急速な躍進は多くのスポーツ関係者を 困惑させ、憤慨させた。彼らはこの激動を引き起こしたのは高速水着だと指摘する。“統制不可能だ。驚異的な記録の進化はスポーツの歴史と秩序を破壊している。”)

Times are supposed to get faster, but apparently, only at some preconceived rate established through the sport's own brief history. Whatever that gradual rate is supposed to be, according to whomever it is who gets to decide, the improvements over the past year exceeded it. But is this kind of evolutionary acceleration really unprecedented? Or is it just our misperception of our own history?

It is true that this transformation coincides with the introduction of new suit technologies.

But it is a common human mistake to see two simultaneous events and jump to conclusions about their connectedness, to see cause and effect where it doesn't necessarily exist. In the case of the current record book assault, alarmed coaches and officials have made the assumption that high-tech suits have distorted the playing field. Zeroing in on the suits tends to be self-reinforcing and ignores the many other developments that are, in fact, much more influential in the recent performance leaps.

Too Much Credit (or Blame)
One American Olympic coach (and LZR advocate) recently lashed out at the polyurethane suits saying, "It's totally out of control. Now, we're into speedboat driving!"

But the data says something different: The suits are getting far too much credit (or blame) for the recent leaps in performance. If the suits are ersatz speedboats, physics would say that the longer the race, the greater the advantage. So, why haven't distance records been smashed proportionately? The 1500 records should be at least 30 seconds to 1 minute faster if the boost from the new suits is what the critics claim. But that expectation isn't supported by the data. An inventory of suit choices by male swimmers (almost all females wear full body suits for obvious reasons) in the 2008 Olympics reveals some interesting statistics.

* In the men's 1500 free final, 7 out of 8 finalists wore full body suits, yet the world record was not threatened.

* With the exception of the 50 and 100 freestyle, and 100 fly events, only about 25 percent of the male swimmers who qualified for the semis and finals in Beijing wore full body suits, and far fewer finished on the podium. In each of the men's breaststroke finals, for example, only 2 out of the 8 finalists opted to wear body suits. The vast majority wore leggings.

* Notably, even in the events dominated by full body suits, the gold medalists of the 400 free and 100 fly wore leggings.

* Wearing only leggings, breaststroke champion Kitajima swam within .13 of the WR he set earlier in the summer wearing a full body suit.

* Michael Phelps wore leggings in 15 of his 17 races when he accomplished his historic feat (exceptions: 4x100 free relay and 200 free final).
(Michael Phelpsは、17レース中15レースをレッグスーツで泳いだ。(4x100mリレー、200m自由形を除く))

* Collectively in seven of the men's individual events—100 and 200 backstrokes, 100 and 200 breaststrokes, 200 and 400 IMs, and the 200 fly—the number of medalists who wore full body suits was a grand total of zero.
(まとめると男子個人7種目- 100m、200m背泳ぎ、100m、200m平泳ぎ、200m、400m個人メドレー、200mバタフライ-でのフルボディースーツを着用したメダリストは0あった。)


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