Tuesday, July 17, 2012

London Aquatics Center: How to make a fast pool!

Is it ethical to create a pool that has a statistical advantage of producing better times than any other pool? Could we be entering a statistical void where world records are set in selected pools only such as London, Beijing or whatever they cook up fro Brazil?

This pool boasts that its wave and current suppressing technology will make a faster pool. Compound this with the $3,000 Omega starting blocks with its beveled, "track start" edge one has to wonder if we are getting to the point where a pool has to be well above average for a world record to be set?

If exaggerated pool technology is ok then I find any argument against tech suits summarily anemic. An individual can buy a tech suit and its fabric therein can be regulated to keep each suit more or less equal but how fair can it be if specific pools provide superior hydro technology for faster swims by manipulating the water?

Notable quotes  from TVNZ News:

The circulation system, which in backyard pools just keeps the water clean, will also contribute to the fast water. It will be adjusted so the water level remains as constant as possible, minimizing the "bounce-back" the creates turbulence.
"The larger a body of water and the further away the reflective surfaces; the better the pool is at absorbing energy," Ireland said. FINA, the international swimming federation, mandates minimum pool dimensions. For London, the main competition pool will exceed the 2-metre required depth by a full metre.
If all goes as planned, even with Americans Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, Australian Stephanie Rice and their rivals all churning up the water like so many human paddle-wheel boats, the surface should be nearly as calm as a pond on windless day.



Anonymous said...

Even existing pools are not created equal and USA Swimming allows the LSC's to deny access to the better facilities because an athlete does not live in the right city or workout with the right team.

Anonymous said...

USA Swimming did implement a rule where pools used in USA Swimming meets need to be certified as far as measurement.

Maybe FINA needs to implement policies regarding technology of pools. You bring up a good point.

As far as tech suits - they were unaffordable for the average person. This was a huge problem at the high school level meets where some teams would be outfitted with fastskins and others were lucky to have a suit that fit properly.

Even at the College level, sometimes the suits were not available/out of stock.

Alot needs to be done to equal the playing field, you're right, this is not equitable.

Tony Austin said...

Thank you to both anonymous readers for taking the time to post.

FINA wants to do as little work as possible. Did you know that there is no pool size regulation for a game of water polo?


I don't like "locals Only" pool rules. Santa Monica makes people who do not live in Santa Monica pay double to get in so I feel the frustration when you want your kid to swim in a safer or better pool and the governing body won't let you.

Trev said...

Good point. Good post.