HOW CHAMPIONS DO IT

Researched, produced, and prepared by Brent S. Rushall, Ph.D., R.Psy.

KRISZTINA EGERSZEGI'S FULL STROKE AT 65 m OF HER 100 m BACKSTROKE GOLD MEDAL SWIM AT THE BARCELON OLYMPIC GAMES 1992

This sequence provides another perspective of Krisztina Egerszegi's stroke in the 100 m backstroke event, which she won easily, at the Barcelona Olympic Games. Comments in this evaluation should be considered along with those pertaining to her stroke at the 25 m mark. Each frame is .1 second apart.

Notable Features

The left arm's re-positioning immediately after entry to create the earliest propulsive force possible (medial rotation of the upper arm, elbow and wrist flexion) from the longest entry position possible (elevated shoulder) is followed by adduction of the upper arm employing both the internal and external rotators of the shoulder. The propulsive surface is the arm/forearm combination. This is a classic action that is not demonstrated fully with the right arm pull.

The latter part of the pull is worthy of attention. The hand/forearm perform an inward sculling movement which is very different to the commonly coached "downward-push" that is supposed to produce the latter part of an S-shaped pull. A complete inward scull is performed with the right arm but terminated early and underwater with the left arm.

The roll of the shoulders and hips cancels out major vertical components in the arm movement patterns, thus facilitating a largely direct application of a propulsive force backward.

The hip and shoulder rolls are assisted by kicks and by dropping the leg down on the turn-side. The roll of the body is continuous except for the change of direction stoppages on either side.

It is hard to explain the changing head position.

Krisztina Egerszegi's body position is quite level for the whole stroke even though the head appears to move vertically. As with all top swimmers who perform cyclic alternating strokes, the underwater movement patterns are different for each arm.

Krisztina Egerszegi at 65 m

Reference

Cappaert, J. M., & Rushall, B. S. (1994). Biomechanical analyses of champion swimmers. Spring, Valley, CA: Sports Science Associates.

Return to Table of Contents for this section.