INGE DE BRUIJN AT 30 m OF HER WINNING 50 m FREESTYLE SEMI-FINAL RACE AT THE 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES IN SYDNEY
This stroke analysis includes a moving sequence in real time, a moving sequence where each frame is displayed for .5 of a second, and still frames.
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At the end of the following narrative, each frame is illustrated in detail in a sequential collage.
Each frame is .1 seconds apart. Inge De Bruijn's time for this semi-final race was 24.13 seconds, a faster swim than her winning final performance (24.32 seconds).
This series of pictures demonstrates some excellent features of swimming technique and accounts for why Inge De Bruijn is so good. No other factor needs to be suggested to account for her excellence.
Throughout the whole stroke, Inge De Bruijn maintains excellent streamline. Her resistance level would be less than that expected of most swimmers (a feature that has been verified by the noted Dutch scientist, Professor Huub Toussaint). Two features are very noteworthy. Firstly, the alignment of the body segments along the horizontal axis is constant. There is no tendency to produce any unnecessary wave drag because of hip or torso sway. Secondly, the hips and shoulders rotate together causing the smallest cross-sectional profile to be presented to the oncoming water and thus, frontal resistance is minimized.
The swimmer's kicks are generally small. In a manner similar to Pieter van den Hoogenbond, some kicks do not drop below horizontal, their counter-balancing vertical forces being effected in the swimmer's torso shadow. There is no evidence of Inge De Bruijn "over-kicking", that is, executing unnecessarily deep kicks that increase resistance. An added benefit of her short kicks is that they require less time to execute and thus, support her high rate of arm stroking.
However, the strongest feature of her technique is her ability to reduce between-strokes inertial lags. When one arm is finishing its propulsion, the other starts. There is minimal to no negative acceleration between alternate force applications. Inge De Bruijn's timing is similar to that of Brooke Bennett, although she is the first sprinter to exhibit it so clearly. Along with her performances, her movement pattern suggests that other swimmers over-emphasize stroke length to the detriment of the maintenance of inertia. With the best female sprinter and distance swimmer both exhibiting an overlapping arm-stroke, it is suggested this is a feature that should be emulated by female crawl stroke swimmers.
Inge De Bruijn is so good because she is technically better than other female swimmers. No other reason for her superiority needs to be proposed.
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