Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Michael Phelps should have been disqualified in the 200 meter free?

UPDATE: After reading the rules it appears the black markers are most likely placed at the 13 meter mark.

RULE: "... The color of the floats extending from the walls the distance of 5 meters for long course and 15 feet for short course shall be distinct from the rest of the floats. Distinctive colored floats, or markers extending around the full circumference of the floats, shall be placed at 15-meters (49' 21/2") from each end wall in both short course and long course pools. Additionally, in long course pools, a distinctive warning line or lane markers may be placed at a distance of 13 meters from each end wall.

It appears that on the third turn of the 200 free, Michael Phelps', head inadvertently emerges well past the 15 meter marker. A swimmer is not allowed to swim underwater on a turn for more than 15 meters or 16.4 yards. In the photo above Phelps' head and arms are well past the 15 meter mark and he hasn't even emerged.

I want to stress that this is seemingly inadvertent and not intentional. Nonetheless, he should have been DQed and the gold given to Pieter Van Den Hoogenband.

You Tube Video of the 200 meter free: [Link]

USMS Rules with FINA reference: [Link]
USA Swimming - Officiating Championship Swimming PDF: [Link]


Isis said...

Hi Tony, Isn't that the 10-meter mark? I watched that video a couple of times, and he comes up after the black mark at the far end off both turns, but I believe it is the next mark, the red one, that marks 15 meters?

Love your blog, by the way.

Scott said...

That's really too bad. I wouldn't think the extra 20 or so centimeters underwater would make any appreciable difference to his time - perhaps the FINA officials are allowed some give in this particular rule? That would be understandable if the swimmer doesn't have any reference points underwater to gauage when to come up - do they have 15m lines on the pool bottom? I'm pretty sure he would have broken the WR even with full compliance. But this is going to create a storm of controversy, especially since he broke beloved Thorpe's record. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope Phelps can improve some more with another, less controversial, WR swim.

Tony Austin said...

I have added a question mark to the title. The black marker has be be more than 10 meters if you assume that the length of the swimmers from the tip of their hand to the tip of their toe is of an outstretched foot is at least 9 feet long.

ogged said...

I initially had the same thought, but that's the 10-meter mark. The 15-meter mark is red, and you can see clearly where it is if you watch any of the backstroke events.

Tony Austin said...

Isis, I read you blog about your shoulder. Be sure you hand is not crossing past your center line, breathe to the side of the injured shoulder, do not use a kick-board, ice it, and good luck with the cortisone.

Natswimmer341 said...

I am a national swimmer myself, and what you see in this photo is not the 15 meter mark. It's the 10 meter mark, the next red line is the 15 meter. As you may notice even after the dive every swimmer went past the black line.
I'm not a huge fan of Michael Phelps, but he's a hard working athlete and for people to take his credit away for his hard work is terrible. He shouldn't be DQ'd so get your facts straight, and perhaps watch the video.

Tony Austin said...

Thank you, I though it was the 13 meter mark.