Currents in pools are not a new phenomenon. Just about every swimmer who's been around a while has experienced the difference between lanes in workouts and meets. There was plenty of talk last year about currents in the world champs pool, right? Read a new article on the issue here
In Barcelona, rumors of a current surfaced
in the early days of the meet and surprised FINA because, Dijakovic
said, "by definition, pools don't have a current." But the rumors
persisted, covered by French and Australian newspapers.
investigate the rumors, Myrtha and FINA devised a makeshift test, using
a floating plastic bottle that showed no discernible current.
That two-dimensional thinking didn't prove a danged thing, did it? The dog-gone current was under the surface
American swimmer Eugene Godsoe said he
wasn't sure whether there was a current in the pool that day, but that
he and other competitors had heard about the rumored speed and slowness
of certain lanes. Godsoe won a somewhat surprising silver medal in the
50-meter butterfly, swimming in lane 8 in the final. It was his
fastest-ever time in that event.
there was a current, I think it was minuscule compared with the mental
effect it had on the athletes swimming," Godsoe said. "If you're a
swimmer and in the back of your head it's, 'I'm going to be really slow
'cause I'm in lane 1,' whether or not that's true, that's going to
affect the way you perform."
placebo effect would hardly explain what happened during the 1,500-meter
freestyle. In that event--involving 15 round trips in the pool—swimmers
in lanes 5-8 swam faster in one direction than the other, suggesting
that they faced an unfavorable current on return trips across the pool.
lane 1-4 swimmers swam faster in the opposite direction, suggesting
that any current in the pool was circular, giving swimmers in those
lanes a boost on return lengths. In both cases, those results are
unusual, because in distance events, the authors note, "the athletes
typically attempt to maintain a fairly even pace throughout most of the
Facts? We don't need no stinkin' facts!
Now, Myrtha is devising an instrument to detect water currents and will
test it at the European championships next month in Berlin, said
Tiffany. He said the new instrument will be "far more sophisticated"
than the improvised test used in Barcelona.
Really? What could possibly be more sophisticated than watching a bottle floating in lane 2...