Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Start performance and its relation to competition times in Paralympic swimmers

Christoph Clephas, Pro Stergiou, Larry Katz



The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the variability of the 100m freestyle final race time to start performance in a population of Paralympic swimmers using the coefficient of variation (CV). A secondary purpose of study was to investigate the correlation between start performance and competition results in this population of athletes. A total of 321 data points were collected on start performances and 231 data points were collected from competition results. It was found that there was a within-athlete CV in final times of 2.6% and a within-athlete CV in start performances of 18.2%. These two parameters were moderately correlated having an r2 of 0.57. The athletes improved their performances across five-consecutive seasons by 6.4%. In addition, it was found that a strong correlation existed between the 5m start time compared to the final race time in the 100m freestyle (r2=0.78). The results showed that the variability of start performance was moderately correlated to the variability of the final times and there was a strong correlation between start performance and competition results.


Coefficient of variation; Paralympic sport; Swimming starts; Force measurements


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