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Charts clearly show how some Olympic swimmers have gotten unfair advantage

  • cc6 (1447 posts)
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    Charts clearly show how some Olympic swimmers have gotten unfair advantage

    A few years ago, researchers from Indiana University discovered a disturbing pattern at the 2013 Swimming World Championships in Barcelona. According to the lap-time data, athletes assigned to the outer lanes of the pool were consistently swimming faster in one direction than the other.

    A mysterious force seemed to be interfering with the competition. But before the researchers could investigate in person, the pool — a temporary facility constructed just for that event — was torn down.


    The higher-numbered side of the pool suffered from the opposite problem. Swimmers were about 0.2 seconds slower in their outgoing laps compared to their return laps. (In all of this, the researchers ignored the first and last laps because those are strategic parts of the race.)

    To understand the pattern of lane bias, consider the example of Norwegian swimmer Henrik Christiansen, who is marked on the chart in pink. In his preliminary heat for the 1500-meter race, Christiansen was assigned to Lane 2. In that race, his outgoing laps were 0.28 seconds faster than his incoming laps, on average.

    charts and more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/09/01/these-charts-clearly-show-how-some-olympic-swimmers-may-have-gotten-an-unfair-advantage/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_swimadvantage-wb-850am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

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