We’ve had a field day poring through post-World Championships data, as they tell an interesting story about trends in national swimming programs. While the United States had arguably their weakest World Championships showing since 2009, other countries fared much better than during the past six years.
If we look at the number of finalists per country as a proxy for program depth, China, Great Britain, Russia and Canada showed great promise, with their strongest team perfomances since 2009. In medal count, Great Britain, Hungary and Sweden were better than they had been at any time in the last four World Championships. (Nota bene: those data are skewed as the mixed relays added two events to the total.)
France, Hungary, Australia and Sweden all had a particularly high percentage of finalists go on to medal.
Robin Pla, a researcher with the French Swimming Federation (FFN), doctoral candidate at the l’Université Paris Descartes, and assistant coach at France’s elite National Institute of Sport and Physical Education (INSEP) has drilled even deeper into the Kazan results. Pla has analyzed each race from every conceivable angle, and in a collaboration with SwimSwam, he has provided us with some of his most interesting findings. Click here to see Pla’s graphs for SwimSwam. (The rest of his analysis can be found @RobiinRoad on Twitter)