Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 156 - 165   DOI:

Research article
Race Analysis and Determination of Stroke Frequency – Stroke Length Combinations during the 50-M Freestyle Event
Jorge E. Morais1,2, , Tiago M. Barbosa1,2, José A. Bragada1,2, Alan M. Nevill3, Daniel A. Marinho2,4
Author Information
1 Department of Sports Sciences, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Bragança, Portugal
2 Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Covilhã, Portugal
3 Faculty of Education, Health, and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, United Kingdom
4 Department of Sports Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Jorge E. Morais
✉ Department of Sports Sciences, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança Campus Sta. Apolónia, Apartado 1101, 5301-856, Bragança, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 24-05-2022
Accepted: 24-02-2023
Published (online): 01-03-2023

The aims of this study were to: (1) analyze and compare the stroke kinematics between junior and senior elite male swimmers in every section of the race during the 50-m freestyle event, and; (2) identify stroke frequency (SF)–stroke length (SL) combinations on swim speed independently for junior and senior swimmers in each section of the 50-m freestyle event. Eighty-six junior swimmers (2019) and 95 seniors (2021) competing in the 50-m long course meter LEN Championships were analyzed. The t-test independent samples (p ≤ 0.05) were used to compare juniors and seniors. The SF and SL combinations on swim speed were explored using three-way ANOVAs. Senior swimmers were significantly faster in the 50-m race than juniors (p < 0.001). Speed presented the largest significant difference (p < 0.001) in section S0-15 m (start until the 15th meter mark) being seniors fastest. Both junior and senior swimmers revealed a significant categorization (p < 0.001) by stroke length and stroke frequency in each race section. It was possible to model several SF–SL combinations for seniors and juniors in each section. The fastest swim speed in each section, for seniors and juniors independently, was achieved by a SF–SL combination that may not be the fastest SF or the longest SL. Coaches and swimmers must be aware that despite the 50-m event being an all-out bout, several SF–SL combinations were observed (independently for juniors and seniors), and they differ between race sections.

Key words: Analysis, biomechanics, competition, performance

           Key Points
  • The fastest eight seniors did not follow the same combinations of the entire group, and juniors presented an opposite trend.
  • This indicates that seniors have higher variability than juniors during the 50-m freestyle event seeking to find and customize the combination that is more effective for them.
  • Juniors follow a pre-set strategy, which does not change so much among them.
  • Coaches and swimmers must be aware that they might have to adapt themselves since it is not possible to race a given event in the same way in different moments of their swimming career.
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