Frenchman's 100 freestyle WR


France’s Bernard shatters 100 freestyle record
Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:46pm EDT

By Derek Parr

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands (Reuters) - Alain Bernard snatched the 100 meters freestyle world record from Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband at the ailing Dutchman’s home pool in the European swimming championships on Friday.

The 24-year old Frenchman clocked 47.60 seconds in the 100 semi-finals to beat the 47.84 mark Van den Hoogenband set in the semi-finals of the Sydney Olympics in September, 2000, on the way to the first of his two Olympic 100 freestyle titles.

It was one more blow for Van den Hoogenband, who has had the toughest of times since he turned 30 last week.

He pulled out of the morning’s 100 freestyle heats, having been ill during the week and failing to make the semi-finals of the 200 freestyle, an event he had won four times.

Bernard hit the 50-metre mark in 22.88, well inside Van den Hoogenband’s world record split of 23.16, and hurtled down the return length to carve 0.24 seconds from the world mark. His previous best was 48.12.

France experienced an extraordinary day of elation and disappointment, with the second high point coming in the evening’s last race when their women’s 4x200 freestyle relay squad held off the British quartet to win by 0.27 seconds in 7:52.09.

But Russians Anastasia Zueva and Grigory Falko denied France two expected gold medals when they upstaged favorites Laure Manaudou and Hugues Duboscq in two earlier finals.

Manaudou, who won four European titles in 2006, had posted a European 100 backstroke record of 59.50 in Thursday’s semi-finals.


But Zueva led all the way against the world silver medalist to reclaim the European record and strike gold in 59.41, with defending champion Manaudou having to settle for silver in 1:00.05 after winning in 2004 and 2006.

Manaudou, in the lane next to Zueva, turned away and hung on the further lane rope, refusing to acknowledge her conqueror. Her mood brightened later when she led off the relay victory for her second Eindhoven gold after winning Wednesday’s 200 backstroke from Zueva.

Duboscq, who had broken the men’s 200 breaststroke championship record twice on Thursday, led for the first 150 meters but Falko overhauled him on the last length to grab the gold and the championship record in 2:09.64.

Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen, who had beaten Duboscq for the 100 breaststroke title when both dipped below the one-minute mark for the first time, swept through for silver in 2:09.74 and Duboscq was left with bronze.

Greece celebrated two titles. Ioannis Drymonakos came through in the last couple of strokes of the 200 butterfly in 1:54.16 ahead of 2005 world champion Pawel Korzeniowski of Poland (1:54.38), with both inside the old European record, and Aristeidis Grigoriadis won the 50 backstroke to follow his silver in the 100 back.

Italy’s Alessia Filippi inherited Manaudou’s 800 freestyle title for her second Eindhoven gold after winning the 400 individual medley on Tuesday. Manaudou pulled out of the 800 to concentrate on the 100 backstroke.

Romania’s Camelia Potec, Olympic 200 freestyle champion, set the pace for the first 700 meters, with Spain’s 2004 European champion Erika Villaecija in close attendance, before Filippi charged through to win in 8:23.50, with Villaecija taking silver and Potec fading to bronze.

Mireia Belmonte put Spain on the top step of the podium with an impressive win in the women’s 200 individual medley in a championship record 2:11.16 from Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto. Olympic champion Yana Klochkova was last.

(Editing by Miles Evans)

Is it just “nurture” or is it “nature” that primarily determines why white sprinters do better in swimming than on the track?

I realise this is a little hand grenade in the genetic pool, but in deliberately being provocative I hope nobody is stupid enough to interpret the question as racist.

More whites have the long torso shorter legs that work well in swimming, where the contribution ratio is 2 to 1 upper body to lower body.

i believe also, whites body fat % is on general slightly higher than darks. Most elite swimmers are not razer lean like a track guy. The extra Fat adds Buoyancy in the water - leading to more efficient technique.

Lot of black fatties around too though :slight_smile:

Maybe has something to do with tendon attachment points and achilles tendon lengths if that isn’t essentially the same thing.

If there is an ideal lower-body set of dimensions, it seems there are more blacks blessed with it than there are whites.

It’s just always interested me that the Caribbean islands produce so many phenomenal track sprinters and few if any swimmers on the comparible world championship level. Yet there’s plenty of water nearby and if the talent was expressed, I’m sure some US college would have grabbed them and further developed them.

Anthony Nesty representing Surinam may be the only black Olympic swimming gold medallist in any event in the pool or open water.

Anthony Nesty
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Medal record

Anthony Nesty
Men’s Swimming
Competitor for Suriname
Olympic Games
Gold 1988 Seoul 100m Butterfly
Bronze 1992 Barcelona 100m Butterfly
Pan American Games
Gold 1987 Indianapolis 100m Butterfly
Gold 1991 Havana 100m Butterfly
Silver 1991 Havana 200m Butterfly
Bronze 1987 Indianapolis 200m Butterfly
Pan Pacific Championships
Gold 1989 Tokyo 100m Butterfly
Anthony Nesty (born November 25, 1967) is a Surinamese former swimmer, the second black athlete to win an Olympic medal in swimming (after Enith Brigitha in Montreal 1976). Nesty established this historic milestone at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. In the 100 m butterfly, Nesty out-touched then-favorite Matt Biondi by .01; Nesty finished in 53.00 and Biondi in 53.01. Nesty is the only Olympic medal winner from Suriname and after winning his Olympic gold medal, Nesty was unbeaten at the 100 meters butterfly for three years. Nesty attended the University of Florida.

[edit] Biography
Anthony Nesty was born in Trinidad and Tobago, the youngest of five children. Nesty’s family migrated to Suriname but the exact age of his emigration is unclear: some biographies of the athlete say ‘at nine months old’ and others say ‘at three years old.’ Nesty trained and competed in Suriname and the Caribbean through the beginning of his teenage years. After placing 21st in the 100 m fly at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Nesty entered the Bolles Prep School in Jacksonville, Florida, a renowned program for training and preparation of elite, world-class swimmers. While at Bolles as a sophomore, Nesty broke the prep school 100-yard butterfly record held by Pablo Morales. Breaking Morales’s record was the beginning of numerous other successes for Nesty. In 1987, he won the gold medal in the 100 m butterfly and the bronze medal in the 200 m butterfly at the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, Indiana. These victories established the foundation that would lead to his successes at the Seoul Olympics.

Nesty’s victory in Seoul was a momentous social and political event for Afro-Caribbeans. The Suriname government commemorated Nesty’s gold-medal performance on a stamp and on gold and silver coins. A 25 Guilders bank note portraying the illustration of a butterfly swimmer was printed in his honor.

After his gold in Seoul, Nesty enjoyed a successful swimming career at the University of Florida, winning three consecutive NCAA Championships in the 100-yard butterfly (1990-92), one in the 200-yard butterfly (1990), and one as a member of the school’s 400-yard medley relay (1991). He also won gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly at the Goodwill Games in 1990 and the FINA World Championships in 1991. Nesty attempted to defend his 1988 gold medal in the 100 fly at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, but ended up with a third-place bronze medal.

Currently, Anthony Nesty is an assistant coach at the University of Florida. After serving as the men’s assistant coach his first year, Nesty now is involved with both the men’s and women’s programs, but primarily works with the men’s team.

Regarding higher body fat% of swimmers, I’ve read studies before dealing with how swimmers training extensively in lower temperautres and how it effects the matablism differently than say a runner. Both the runner and swimmer will feel hungry after training, but the runner actually burned more calories due to the rise in his body temperature. All swimmers demonstrate a slightly higher body fat level then dry land sports that are similar, not just the white folk.

Most endurance athletes are usually leaner then they sometimes appear to be anyways.

Anthony Ervin (50m 2000 Co-Champion) is of African heritage. Cullen Jones is a potential medal threat in the 50m in Beijing.

As to the topic of genetics, I think part of the issue, as pointed out earlier, is that different traits/skill sets are rewarded in sprint swimming as compared to the track. In swimming, success seems to be much more a result of technique than pure power or explosiveness. However, at the top level, everything needs to be there. I have been around some very successful aquatic sprinters who completely lacked explosiveness and terrestrial athleticism. Also there are many “explosive” swimmers, who just aren’t good swimmers from a technical standpoint.

I believe I have read that those of African descent have higher bone mineral density which may play a factor in flotation. Perhaps the largest issue is a lack of exposure to the sport?

When it comes to the swimming module at my college all the decent white track athletes and the black people sank (me included!) LOL.

I’ve also read that the muscle fibres of swimmers are predominantly Type I or IIa… where as people of west-african desent seem to be predominantly IIb. Also tendon compliance and stretch reflex wouldn’t add significantly to swim speed IMO.

Black, white, whatever :slight_smile: In what way is the training different compared to, say, a 400 m race? Or for any other pair of distances between the two sports of similar duration for that matter. Perhaps there are more differences than similarities, as distance/duration increases. Just curious. Pakewi?

The time duration of the 100 in swimming more closely matches the 400 in track than the sprints. How does this affect the traits required – do black swimmers do proportionately better in the 50?

Fatboy : French 100FreeWR Alain Bernard

Bernard centre

swimmer Alain Bernard : armed and loaded

I saw a picture of him on eurosport before I read this topic and his arms certainly are quite big. Seems to do the job, he swam 47.50 in the final for another World Record ! Went out (50m split) in 22.53 !

It doesn’t look he used one of the new Speedo LZT Racer suits either.

New swimsuits unfair: Rose
Article from: The Sunday Telegraph

By James Hooper

March 09, 2008 12:00am

TRIPLE Olympic champion Murray Rose has questioned the legitimacy of Speedo’s new LZT Racer after three world records were posted in 24 days.

The common theme appears to be the new high-tech suit, which was shrouded in secrecy until its celebrated release on February 12.

"My coach reckons if I put on one of these things that I’d go 10 seconds faster in the 400. I said ‘you’ve got to be kidding’,’’ said Rose, 69, who won his medals in Melbourne in 1956.

"Any time you introduce performance enhancing technology into a sport the playing field becomes a little less even.

"A lot of people don’t have access to the suits, so that makes it a little less even than it used to be.

"In my day all you had to remember was an old swimsuit and a towel and don’t even worry about the goggles.

"I just have some concerns when technology is such an important factor in success.’’

When asked if the suits had something to do with the deluge of world records, Rose replied: "There’s absolutely no question.’’

This is the story everyone in the swimming world will tell you is not a story, but the facts speak for themselves.

Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry set the first of the new suit’s world records in the 200m backstroke at Missouri Grand Prix last month, breaking Hungarian Krisztina Egerzegi’s mark which was set in 1991.

Then US backstroker Natalie Coughlin broke her own world record in the 100m at the same meet.

The Australian swimmers aiming to make a big splash in Beijing have also been cruising courtesy of Speedo.

Eamon Sullivan’s arrival as the world’s fastest 50m freestyle swimmer was achieved in an LZR Racer suit.

But perhaps the most intriguing record was the one posted just last week, when teen sensation Emily Seebohm clocked a time just 0.01sec outside the world record … and that was at a school carnival. Her decision to put on a special Speedo LZR Racer suit for the event delivered more than just the quick swim her coach Matt Brown had predicted.

"We thought she should put the new suit on for the 50m backstroke and see what happens and 28.10sec was the result,’’ Brown said.

Speedo seem to think they have plenty to do with the new records, claiming them on their website.

Not all swimmers at the Australian Olympic trials at Homebush starting on March 22 will have access to the controversial suits.

Those not provided with them by Speedo must buy their own at $600 each.,22049,23343185-5001023,00.html

The last line in that story is interesting as I heard on the news last night FINA said the suits must be available to all competitors at Beijing. I guess some having to pay $600 is still making it available.

FYI a lot of the development and testing was done at the University here which has the only swimming flume in the Southern hemisphere.

New Speedos launched with help of Otago sports scientist

Wednesday 13 February 2008

Many hours of testing and painstaking observation using the University of Otago’s swimming flume have gone into the latest Olympic offering from international swimwear manufacturer Speedo.

Launched simultaneously in New York, London, Sydney and Tokyo on the 12th of February the in-water development of the latest generation of competition swimwear has been carefully watched over by School of Physical Education sports scientist David Pease.

A specialist in biomechanics Pease is one of only a privileged handful of people from outside the company who have been involved in the hush-hush development, timed to be ready for this year’s Beijing Olympics.

So vital was his involvement he has been invited to be the expert on a media panel at the Tokyo launch of the new design.

It is second time around for Pease who was also involved in the development of Speedo’s previous design, launched in time for the 2004 Athen’s Olympics. He says the testing for this latest development has been even more rigorous.

“We have done hundreds of tests to see how well the suit behaves in the water,” says Pease.

Using the School of Physical Education flume, the only one of its type in the Southern Hemisphere, the swimmer is effectively “towed” through the flowing water. They are held in place by a special test rig so close-up camera shots can be taken to show the movement of water past the suit, allowing researchers to detect points of drag.

“The flume allows you to get a far better shot because it keeps the swimmer still in relation to the camera,” says Pease.

“Also, the flume allows us to measure drag far more accurately because we can control water velocity very accurately.”

In the flume they can detect differences between suits down to as little as 100 grams and that is important when an Olympic level swimmer creates between 11 and 12kgs of drag in the water at World Record pace.

“It’s the equivalent of sticking your hand out a car window at about 145kph - that’s the amount of drag you are fighting against at world record swimming speeds.”

With all the data being gathered computational fluid dynamics - a form of computer modelling - has also come to play a bigger part in swimsuit development.

Researchers can use what they have learnt from the flume, combine that with the computer analysis and then come up with design changes they can test on the computer model and then trial in the flume.

Without giving away too many secrets, Pease says the new design has a number of innovations to reduce drag, such as the use of fabric welds to hold seams together, rather than stitching.

“There is also some structure built into the suit to help hold the core and control body shape,” he says.

Actually it’s the 50m freestyle that is closest to the 100m track sprint, but they are still vastly different events and the competitors in each have vastly different body shapes. The swimmers have very broad, square shoulders and very little if any glute & ham development. Looking at them from side on, you can see that they have flat glutes. You don’t see that in a 100m track sprinter. They also have much longer torsos as Charlie pointed out.

See the way his clavicle is shaped!

Not a good look. He may be a great swimmer but he has one of the most unfortunate looking heads I’ve ever seen! :smiley:

Add the 50m world record as well…