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Purpose : To study and compare pacing strategy and stroke characteristics of swimming performance between male and female swimmers in Thailand national games.
Methods : The subjects were 256 swimmers (males 128 and female 128), competing in the final events at the 45th Thailand national game. A single-camera at 50 Hz was used to collect swimming race data. Dartfish software was used to analyze the pacing strategy and characteristics of swimming performance. The mean and standard deviation (SD) of characteristics of swimming performance and percentage of the pacing strategy variables were computed. Independent t-test was conducted to identify differences between male and female swimmers with a significance level of p < .05.
Results : Our results revealed that an average of percentage of clean swimming time was the highest when compared to other pacing strategies (61.94-72.19%). The percentage of start time was higher in short distances (50-100-m) while a turn time was higher in middle to long distances (200-1,500-m) in both male and female swimmers. The swimming strokes were higher in male than female swimmers. Stroke rate was also higher in 50-m breaststroke swimming for male (64.36 cycles/min) and butterfly for female (58.65 cycles/min). No statistical significance difference in stroke length was observed between gender with the highest value in 1,500-m freestyle (2.54-m) for male swimmers and 800-m freestyle (2.26-m) for female swimmers. In addition, the highest stroke index of male swimmers was found in 50-m freestyle (4.61 m2/c.s) and 200-m individual medley (3.87 m2/c.s) for female swimmers.
Conclusion : A pacing strategy and stroke characteristics analysis of swimmers participated in all events at the 45th Thailand national game has demonstrated statistical differences between gender, swimming styles, distance of the races and pacing strategy, The results obtained from this study can be used as guidelines to design a swimming strategy and an individual training program in order to improve swimming performance.
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