Participation and performance trends by nationality in the ‘English Channel Swim’ from 1875 to 2013

Abstract

Background

The aim of the present study was to investigate participation and performance trends regarding the nationality of successful solo swimmers in the ‘English Channel Swim’.

Methods

The nationality and swim times for all swimmers who successfully crossed the 33.8-km ‘English Channel’ from 1875 to 2013 were analysed.

Results

Between 1875 and 2013, the number of successful female (571, 31.4%) and male (1,246, 68.6%) solo swimmers increased exponentially; especially for female British and American swimmers and male British, US-American and Australian swimmers. Most of the swimmers were crossing the ‘English Channel’ from England to France and most of the competitors were from Great Britain, the United States of America, Australia and Ireland. For women, athletes from the United States of America, Australia and Great Britain achieved the fastest swim times. For men, the fastest swim times were achieved by athletes from the United States of America, Great Britain and Australia. Swim times of the annual fastest women from Great Britain and the United States of America decreased across years. For men, swim times decreased across years in the annual fastest swimmers from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa and the United States of America. Men were swimming faster from England to France than from France to England compared to women. Swim times became faster across years for both women and men for both directions.

Conclusions

Between 1875 and 2013, the most representative nations in the ‘English Channel Swim’ were Great Britain, the United States of America, Australia and Ireland. The fastest swim times were achieved by athletes from the United States of America, Australia and Great Britain.

Keywords:
Swimmer; Ultra endurance; Origin; Country


Autor / Fonte: Beat Knechtle, Thomas Rosemann and Christoph Alexander Rüst. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation 2014, 6:34 doi:10.1186/2052-1847-6-34
Link: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/2052-1847-6-34.pdf