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The age in swimming of champions in World Championships (1994–2013) and Olympic Games (1992–2012): a cross-sectional data analysis


Knechtle, Beat; Bragazzi, Nicola; König, Stefan; Nikolaidis, Pantelis; Wild, Stefanie; Rosemann, Thomas; Rüst, Christoph (2016). The age in swimming of champions in World Championships (1994–2013) and Olympic Games (1992–2012): a cross-sectional data analysis. Sports, 4(1):17.

Abstract

(1) Background: We investigated the age of swimming champions in all strokes and race distances in World Championships (1994–2013) and Olympic Games (1992–2012); (2) Methods: Changes in age and swimming performance across calendar years for 412 Olympic and world champions were analysed using linear, non-linear, multi-level regression analyses and MultiLayer Perceptron (MLP); (3) Results: The age of peak swimming performance remained stable in most of all race distances for world champions and in all race distances for Olympic champions. Longer (i.e., 200 m and more) race distances were completed by younger (-20 years old for women and -22 years old for men) champions than shorter (i.e., 50 m and 100 m) race distances (-22 years old for women and -24 years old for men). There was a sex difference in the age of champions of -2 years with a mean age of -21 and -23 years for women and men, respectively. Swimming performance improved in most race distances for world and Olympic champions with a larger trend of increase in Olympic champions; (4) Conclusion: Swimmers at younger ages (<20 years) may benefit from training and competing in longer race distances (i.e., 200 m and longer) before they change to shorter distances (i.e., 50 m and 100 m) when they become older (>22 years).

Abstract

(1) Background: We investigated the age of swimming champions in all strokes and race distances in World Championships (1994–2013) and Olympic Games (1992–2012); (2) Methods: Changes in age and swimming performance across calendar years for 412 Olympic and world champions were analysed using linear, non-linear, multi-level regression analyses and MultiLayer Perceptron (MLP); (3) Results: The age of peak swimming performance remained stable in most of all race distances for world champions and in all race distances for Olympic champions. Longer (i.e., 200 m and more) race distances were completed by younger (-20 years old for women and -22 years old for men) champions than shorter (i.e., 50 m and 100 m) race distances (-22 years old for women and -24 years old for men). There was a sex difference in the age of champions of -2 years with a mean age of -21 and -23 years for women and men, respectively. Swimming performance improved in most race distances for world and Olympic champions with a larger trend of increase in Olympic champions; (4) Conclusion: Swimmers at younger ages (<20 years) may benefit from training and competing in longer race distances (i.e., 200 m and longer) before they change to shorter distances (i.e., 50 m and 100 m) when they become older (>22 years).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:15 Jul 2016 10:18
Last Modified:17 Jul 2016 10:24
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2075-4663
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/sports4010017

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