Looking at World Championships a Little Differently

Thanks to our friend Christer Magnusson who runs the website scmsom.se (an incredible site that has update swimming statistics) we have an opportunity to look at statistics some nations will use to judge their success at World Championships rather than just by medals.

The factors that we incorporate here are:

  • National records
  • Number of finals
  • The percentage of swims that are faster than entry times

What we have done is taken the medal standings, in order and included the three statistics above:

 

Records

Finals

Improvement

USA

4

26

47%

South Africa

0

5

44%

France

0

9

35%

China

2

8

33%

Australia

3

15

28%

Brazil

2

6

43%

Sweden

3

5

45%

Hungary

3

4

44%

Lithuania

2

1

33%

Russia

4

5

22%

Spain

11

5

50%

Japan

1

8

28%

Denmark

4

3

67%

Poland

3

1

53%

Italy

2

6

22%

New Zealand

2

4

25%

Netherlands

0

1

33%

Canada

3

5

22%

There are a few things that I find interesting:

  • How well the home country of Spain is doing when you look at the records and percentage of times faster than entry:
    • Rankings:
      • Records – 1st
      • Percentage of best times – 3rd
  • That Australia has 15 finals (second to the U.S.A.), but only 28% of times faster than entry
  • That Denmark has four national records (tied for second) and 67% of times faster than entry

 

12
Leave a Reply

4 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
DanishSwimFan

Go Danmark 🙂

One thing Danish swimmers have consistently done well in recent championships is to manage their tapers well and produce their best when it counts. Unfortunately not something the general public notices when the headlines are all about medals or the lack of as the case may be. Unbelievably yesterday some people were posting comments about Friis’ swim and asking what was all the fuss about, who would remember who came second etc. Makes me very sad.

suzzie2012

That is America.. Those were probably the same people who said that Maya Dirado “faded away in 200 fly” by swimming personal best by over a second and posting 12th time in the world this year.

SwimFanFinland

I agree also with Suzzie2012.

I also noticed how boldly she executed her swim. I’m sure Dirado was aware of the fact that she is not a gold medal contender this year so she went all-out from the beginning. She wanted to be in that final. It was nothing-to-lose attitude at the big meeting which is just how young and coming champions think.

DanishSwimFan

That is sad, over a second off a PB at a big championship is very impressive.

liquidassets

She was also only .4 out of finals! Globally it was a very slow event; FINA A was 2:09.1, there were only 3 heats, and a 2:07.8 made finals. She’s not a butterflier and was just looking for an event that day at trials. But she did awesome and lucked into a very slow event. She’s gonna medal in the 4IM!

SwimFanFinland

Yep, Danish improvement stands out and you’re absolutely right. If a swimmer posts his/her personal best at the important meeting, no one can ask more. You have quite demanding public, if Friis’ under old-WR performance is not enough. I’d say our media have embraced right attitude quite well. The criticism are directed at the whole team if they underperform in general when it counts. To be honest, I’m sure this compassionate may change when medals start to be close.

Now when I look it more closely I understand also that Ottesen’s swim wasn’t bad either (57.27). Fourth place makes it look like “a failure” even it was an excellent swim.

aswimfan

It is amazing how USA consistently outperformed their entry times. USA has perfected the art of tapering for major championships.

Australia also used to swim better in major championships (from 1998 to 2008), but in the past few years it has been very pitiful. Australian coaches need to find out why only few percentage of swims are faster in the champs than in their trials.

DanishSwimFan

I would be interested to see what the figure is for the British swimmers. I wasn’t really convinced that the whole reason for the relative under performance in London was the timing of trials. Many European countries have had success for years with early trials. They get their swimmers qualified in spring, then they go back and do more training, then in the early summer they go out and race and swim fast times. Nothing gets you ready for racing like racing. I think the US is relatively unusual in making late trials work for them, but with the depth the US have, they could probably make anything work for them. The other stand out number up there is Russia,… Read more »

aswimfan

Yes, I think racing made the difference for Aussie swimmers.

Top aussie swimmers used to race in early summer in europe (Thorpe, hackett, Jones, Trickett, Sullivan, etc used to frequent world cup series, mare nostrum, sette hills, etc), but as you can see, magnussen raced nothing last year between the trials and London, and this year the australian swimmers only had time trials, with a a couple swam in santa clara and magnussen at open de france.

beachmouse

With the US, it’s more that they’re stuck working their selection meet around the 800 pound gorilla who will not be moved- the NCAA championships- than being entirely in love with the idea of a June selection event.

In the times when they can’t/won’t have a June meet, they’re stuck using the previous August’s US Open or Pan Pacs to select a team instead of having a spring meet that would clash with NCAAs. And because of that Missy Franklin only qualified for one event at 2011 Worlds based on 2010 times when she clearly should have gotten individual 200 free and 100 back swims that year.

Tea

Interesting that the Aussies have the 2nd most number of finalists, yet only the 5th most medals. Their improvement rate also leaves something to be desired.

Perhaps holding their qualifying meet so early isn’t a good idea. A lot can happen in 3 months, and they may not have the hottest hands on deck right now.

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!