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Sports 2016, 4(1), 17; doi:10.3390/sports4010017

The Age in Swimming of Champions in World Championships (1994–2013) and Olympic Games (1992–2012): A Cross-Sectional Data Analysis

1
Gesundheitszentrum St. Gallen, St. Gallen 9001, Switzerland
2
Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), School of Public Health, University of Genoa, Genoa 16132, Italy
3
Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), University of Genoa, Genoa 16132, Italy
4
Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, Zurich 8091, Switzerland
5
Department of Physical and Cultural Education, Hellenic Army Academy, Vari 16673, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eling de Bruin
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 19 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
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Abstract

(1) Background: We investigated the age of swimming champions in all strokes and race distances in World Championships (1994–2013) and Olympic Games (1992–2012); (2) Methods: Changes in age and swimming performance across calendar years for 412 Olympic and world champions were analysed using linear, non-linear, multi-level regression analyses and MultiLayer Perceptron (MLP); (3) Results: The age of peak swimming performance remained stable in most of all race distances for world champions and in all race distances for Olympic champions. Longer (i.e., 200 m and more) race distances were completed by younger (-20 years old for women and -22 years old for men) champions than shorter (i.e., 50 m and 100 m) race distances (-22 years old for women and -24 years old for men). There was a sex difference in the age of champions of -2 years with a mean age of -21 and -23 years for women and men, respectively. Swimming performance improved in most race distances for world and Olympic champions with a larger trend of increase in Olympic champions; (4) Conclusion: Swimmers at younger ages (<20 years) may benefit from training and competing in longer race distances (i.e., 200 m and longer) before they change to shorter distances (i.e., 50 m and 100 m) when they become older (>22 years). View Full-Text
Keywords: champions; age; performance; sex difference champions; age; performance; sex difference
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Knechtle, B.; Bragazzi, N.L.; König, S.; Nikolaidis, P.T.; Wild, S.; Rosemann, T.; Rüst, C.A. The Age in Swimming of Champions in World Championships (1994–2013) and Olympic Games (1992–2012): A Cross-Sectional Data Analysis. Sports 2016, 4, 17.

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