- World record progression 100 metres freestyle
The first World Record in the Men's 100 metres Freestyle in long course (50 metres)
swimmingwas recognised by the International Swimming Federation(FINA) in 1905. In the short course (25 metres) swimming events the world's governing body recognizes world records since March 3, 1991.
Times have consistently dropped over the years due to better training techniques and to new developments in the sport.
In the first four Olympics competitions were not held in pools, but rather in open water (1896- The Mediterranean Sea, 1900- The Seine River, 1904- an artificial lake, 1906- The Mediterranean Sea). The
1904 Olympics' freestyle race was the only one ever measured at 100 yards, instead of the usual 100 metres. A 100 metre pool was built for the 1908 Olympicsand sat in the centre of the main stadium's track and field oval. The 1912 Olympics, held in the Stockholm harbour, marked the beginning of electronic timing.
Male swimmers wore full body suits up until the 1940's, which caused more drag in the water than their modern swim-wear counterparts. Also, over the years, pool designs have lessened the drag. Some design considerations allow for the reduction of swimming resistance making the pool faster. Namely, proper pool depth, elimination of currents, increased lane width, energy absorbing racing lane lines and gutters, and the use of other innovative hydraulic, acoustic and illumination designs.
1924 Summer Olympicswere the first to use the standard 50 metre pool with marked lanes. In the freestyle, swimmers originally dove from the pool walls, but diving blocks were eventually incorporated at the 1936 Summer Olympics. The tumble turn("flip-turn") was developed by the 1950s.
* [http://www.olympic.org/uk/utilities/reports/level2_uk.asp?HEAD2=11&HEAD1=5 International Olympic Committee]
* [http://www.sportsrecords.co.uk/swimming/ Sports Records]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.