Friday, August 19, 2016

Rio Part 2: Pool Analysis, Open Water Races & Brownlee Domination


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Acton London Video Analysis

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Yorkshire Video Analysis

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Prague Junior Swim Club

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Prague Junior Swim Club




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Montreal Clinic (French Language), Oct 22nd

SS 1 Day Clinic Campbell California, Oct 9th

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Dubai Video Analysis

NYC / SC Video Analysis

Before we get to the open water marathon swims and men's triathlon, let's kick off with Paul Newsome's full video analysis and review of the Olympic pool action earlier in the week. Specially recorded by Paul to give you all his insight into events in Rio, there's loads to learn here about strokes, tactics and keeping a calm head under pressure. Don't miss it:



Brownlee Triathlon Domination

We hope you enjoyed another phenomenal performance by the incredible Brownlee brothers in the Olympic Triathlon yesterday - the brothers took the race by the scruff of the neck and dominated it in every sense of the word!



Despite saying afterwards it was a "slow swim" at just a shade over 17 minutes (!) the boys knew they would have to work their ultra-hard bike strategy right from the off especially as Mario Mola was only 19 seconds down coming out of the water. Their pace was relentless and entirely reminiscent of the Leeds WTS race back in June, in fact it was almost a carbon copy. 19 seconds might not sound a lot in the swim but at this level it is critical - had Mola come out of the water higher up, he would have made the bike pack with the Brownlees and it could have been a different story.

The other athletes would have been very aware that such an attacking Brownlee bike leg would have been a likely scenario but the fact remains that no-one could respond to that call no matter how tactically savvy they might have been.

On the run, despite the brothers being clear and running together after 5km, Alistair decided to surge and break Jonny, despite the risks of going so early in the hot conditions. That right there is the sign of a champion and embodies the spirit of triathlon and the Olympic games as a whole.

At Swim Smooth we were also thrilled to see South Africa's Henri Schoeman pick up the Bronze medal despite never having podiumed in an ITU event. Henri's a class act and he thoroughly deserves to pick up a medal for a phenomenal race:



Henri's one of the best swimmers in triathlon and he features in the Swim Smooth Guru, including our full study of this stroke and interview about his preparation (subscription required):




10K Marathon Swims

Both 10K open water swims were exciting races with Dutch swimmers Sharon van Rouwendaal winning in a super-quick 1:56:32 and Ferry Weertman in 1:52:59. Both had incredible races - Sharon with loads of punch and rhythm in her stroke and Ferry with a longer smoother style supported by the continuous strength of his kick.

Don't miss this great little interview with Sharon after the race, talking about her recent move from the pool to open water and why it's been such a revelation for her. If you're predominantly a pool swimmer and considering the move to open water then why not bite the bullet and give it a crack - it's a lot of fun and who knows, you might find your 'natural' environment, just like Sharon:


In the men's race, we enjoyed Jarrod Poort's seemingly suicide mission for the first 8.5km, here off the front from the very start of the race:



Swim Smooth Head Coach Paul Newsome copped quite a bit of flack on Twitter applauding his effort which was apparently hypocritical compared to all our discussions over the years about pacing and the benefits of drafting. The point remains though that Jarrod would have gone into that race as a top-20 contender or at a push top-10 on a good day, but never a gold medal prospect. He's very good in the surf / swell though which is why Paul picked him for a win in exactly that fashion. He has the ticket stub to prove it! :



He didn't hold on though of course and the strain of his effort really took a toll on his navigation which up until the last lap had been exemplary. It was one of our most memorable moments of this Olympics as to win an Olympic Gold always requires some risk. Jarrod laid it all out on the line on Tuesday and whilst it didn't pay off it was the first time that strategy has ever been employed at that level in this sport. We say credit to him for giving it a go.


Women's Triathlon Preview

The women's triathlon on Saturday should be equally exciting - it will be fascinating to see how the likes of Jenkins, Spirig, Stanford, Duffy, Hewitt and Spirig go and if they can pull an upset from race favourite Gwen Jorgensen. Gwen's running phenomenally well and any athlete is going to need a big lead off the bike to beat her given the long drag-strip straights of the run course which will suit her perfectly to chase down any escapees. Don't miss it, it should be another cracker!

Swim Smooth!

3 comments:

Jonas said...

Very interesting comments here by Paul. My conclusion of what Paul says about the crawl styles of different swimmers is that every great swimmer has specificities in their swimming which, theoretically, are wrong, but what it is important is the global result. For instance, Sun Yang, right after hand entry, tends to apply the "brakes", or the strange arm movement of Horton after hand entry or his two-beat kick being actually one-beat kick (he only kicks with the left foot). What I don't like is many great swimmers moving their heads up and down (as Ledecky or Phelps), probably because they breath only to one side.

Jonas said...

Very interesting also that Paul comments on the other strokes: breaststroke, backstroke or butterfly. It's the first time I see comments on a stroke style other than crawl on this website !! Amazing. Was this because a British won the 100m breaststroke competition??
In any case, as I have already said in previous comments, I would like Swim Smooth to give advice also on the other three strokes, even if Swim Smooth targets mostly triathletes, which use only the crawl style.
Cheers !

Anonymous said...

Paul many thanks for the brilliant analysis. Aside from your technical comments which always make so much sense you are a brilliant communicator with an obvious passion for our sport. In your own words; UNBELIEVABLE! Cheers Mark