A year away from the Olympics. In Paris, and with some swimming world stars recently refusing to participate in the World Championships held in FukuokaSomething quieter was expected. But once the first day started, we could see a 400 men’s freestyle With two participants swimming below the world record until the last stroke. Two guys: 19-year-old Samuel Short (Australia) and 20-year-old Ahmed Hafnaoui (Tunisia), progressing in unison at a steady pace. They finished two hundred. Al-Qusayr achieved 3m 40.68s and Hefnawi 3m 40.70s. half a second of record it Paul Biederman Short and Hafnawi’s performance at the 2009 World Championships, the last international competition in polyurethane swimsuits, marked a profound generational change. Léon Marchand confirmed this by breaking the record in the 400 Styles. Only three world records remain from the polyurethane era: the 200 and 400 freestyle and the 200 backstroke, all in the men’s category.
Thetems, in Six Times Ledecky Unformatted. The next final was the women’s 400-meter freestyle. He gave us the first world record in the competition. Ariarne Titmus (Australia) set a high pace from the start of the distance and in practice over 200m she was the favourite. Their difference continued to increase slightly in part, with respect to the rest of the participants (56.92 seconds, 1 minute 0.2 seconds, 59.96 seconds and 58.48 seconds). The expected fight with the young world record holder Summer McIntosh (Canada), or with Katie Ledecky (USA), was not. Mackintosh was practically out of the race in the 150m. Ledecky swam the first 200m slower than expected – startlingly uncoordinated, with very short strokes and variable lap times – and when she tried to close she was met only by the final attack from Titmus. The Australian used her legs from the very beginning, the so-called crawling Six times, and her final stroke—the only one she swam the last 100 in under a minute—was enough to set the world record at 3m 55.38s.
Marchand improves Phelps’ underwater swimming. The highlight of the day was the world record broken by Léon Marchand (France) in the 400m medley. Firstly, because he took it from Michael Phelps, a former student of his current coach, and secondly, because it was expected, but not soon. In the morning, he had already made his intentions clear by running the first 200 times at a record pace, and in the afternoon he just had to add intensity in the second 200. The times were very similar to the previous world record in the first 200. But the breaststroke made the difference, being 2.92 seconds faster than Phelps in the 2008 final, enough to offset Phelps’ advantage of 1.43 seconds in the last 100. Although they never imagined together. It will only be necessary to adjust the technical sophistication: undulating movements at the start and turns are longer than those of Phelps, just over two meters on average every 50 metres. The difference cuts Marchand’s times and allows him to use fewer strokes per length. His breaststroke, fresher and less undulating than Phelps’, allows him to take second place in the world 200 rankings and make a difference in this test.
Raul Arellano is in charge of the Aquarium Biology Laboratory at the University of Granada.
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