• Breaststroke, besides being one of the oldest Olympic swimming strokes, is also one of the most accessable to all levels of recreational swimmers. This is due to the fact that throughout much of the stroke, the head is keep out of the water.
• However, despite its easy access to beginners, at its highest levels in the Olympic Games, swimmers view breaststroke as a more difficult stroke relative to others because of the skill required to master the timing and coordination of the stroke.
• Breaststroke is also the slowest of the four Olympic strokes.
• The motion of breaststoke is based upon three distict motions unique to itself.
• The kick involves bring one’s feet forward while bending the knees outward, then quickly snapping them striaght. This is called either a frog kick or a whip kick, and throughout the whole motion, the legs are kept underwater.
• At the same time one’s legs are fully extended in the breaststroke kick, the arms are extended forward. As the legs are brought forward loading the next kick, the arms are quickly pulled in a circular motion back towards one’s side, pulling the swimmer forward.
• As the arms are pulled back towards the swimmers chin, the head and sholders of the swimmer rise out of the water for a breath. At this point the upper body is at a sharp angle out of the water, which results in the drag that makes the breaststroke the slowest stroke.
• The stroke is completed as the swimmer simultaneously kicks agains, shoots his arms together forward and resubmerges the head and torso, gliding forward under the surface of the water.
• The breaststoke, despite having been written about in medieval literature, was not introduced as a separate Olympic stroke until the 1904 games in St. Louis.
• Currently there are four Olympic breaststroke events: Both Men and Women compete in the 100 M and 200 M breaststroke events, with breaststroke also being incorporated in the medley events.
Photo Courtesy of Confederação Brasileira de Desportos Aquáticos
Credit: Satiro Sodré
• SW 7.1
From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start and after each turn, the body shall be kept on the breast. It is not permitted to roll onto the back at any time. Throughout the race the stroke cycle must be one arm stroke and one leg kick in that order.
• SW 7.2
All movements of the arms shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement.
• SW 7.3
The hands shall be pushed forward together from the breast on, under, or over the water. The elbows shall be under water except for the final stroke before the turn, during the turn and for the final stroke at the finish. The hands shall be brought back on or under the surface of the water. The hands shall not be brought back beyond the hip line, except during the first stroke after the start and each turn.
• SW 7.4
During each complete cycle, some part of the swimmer's head shall break the surface of the water. After the start and after each turn, the swimmer may take one arm stroke completely back to the legs. The head must break the surface of the water before the hands turn inward at the widest part of the second stroke. A single downward dolphin kick followed by a breaststroke kick is permitted while wholly submerged. Following which, all movements of the legs shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement. Interpretation:
A dolphin kick is not part of the cycle and is only permitted at the start and turn whilst the arms are pulling back to the legs or after the arm pull whilst wholly submerged followed by a breaststroke kick.
• SW 7.5
The feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. A scissors, flutter or downward dolphin kick is not permitted except as in SW 7.4. Breaking the surface of the water with the feet is allowed unless followed by a downward dolphin kick.
• SW 7.6 At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water level. The head may be submerged after the last arm pull prior to the touch, provided it breaks the surface of the water at some point during the last complete or incomplete cycle preceding the touch.
• The referee shall have full control and authority over all officials, approve their assignments, and instruct them regarding all special features or regulations related to the competitions. He shall enforce all rules and decisions of FINA and shall decide all questions relating to the actual conduct of the meet, and event or the competition, the final settlement of which is not otherwise covered by the rules.
• The best competitive times of all entrants for the preceding twelve (12) months prior to the entry deadline of the competition, shall be submitted on entry forms and listed in order of time by the Management Committee. Swimmers who do not submit official recorded times shall be considered the slowest and shall be placed at the end of the list with a no time. Placement of swimmers with identical times or of more than one swimmer without times shall be determined by draw. Swimmers shall be placed in lanes according to the procedures set forth in SW 3.1.2. Below. Swimmers shall be placed in trial heats according to submitted times in the following manner.
• Where no preliminary heats are necessary, lanes shall be assigned in accordance with SW 3.1.2 above. Where preliminary heats or semi-finals have been held, lanes shall be assigned as in SW 3.1.2 based, however, on times established in such heats.
• In the event that swimmers from the same or different heats have equal times registered to 1/100 second for either the eighth place or sixteenth place, there shall be a swim-off to determine which swimmer shall advance to the appropriate finals. Such swim-off shall take place not less than one hour after all involved swimmers have completed their heat. Another swim-off shall take place if equal times are registered again.
List of Events
Photo Courtesy ofConfederação Brasileira de Desportos Aquáticos
Credit: Satiro Sodré
• Men’s 100 M
• Women’s 100 M
• Men’s 200 M
• Women’s 200 M
magem cedida pela Confederação Brasileira de Desportos Aquáticos
Crédito: Satiro Sodré
Medals for 2004 Summer Olympics
|100 M Breaststroke
||Kosuke Kitajima, JPN 1:00.08
||Brendan Hansen, USA 1:00.25
||Hugues Duboscq, FRA 1:00.88
|200 M Breaststroke
||Kosuke Kitajima, JPN 2:09.44
||Daniel Gyurta, HUN 2:10.80
||Brendan Hansen, USA 2:10.87
|100 M Breaststroke
||Xuejuan Luo, CHN 1:06.64
||Brooke Hanson, AUS 1:07.15
||Leisel Jones, AUS 1:07.16
200 M Breaststroke
|Amanda Beard, USA 2:23.37
||Leisel Jones, AUS 2:23.60
||Anne Poleska, GER, 2:25.82
World Record Holder
• 100m breaststroke Brendan Hansen, USA 59.13 Aug. 1, 2006
• 200m breaststroke Brendan Hansen, USA 2:08.50 August 20, 2006
• 100m breaststroke Leisel Jones, AUS 1:05.09 March 20, 2006
• 200m breaststroke Leisel Jones, AUS 2:20.54 February 1, 2006
Olympic Record Holder
100m Brendan Hansen, USA 1:00.01 Aug. 14, 2004
200m Kosuke Kitajima, JPN 2:09.44 Aug. 18, 2004
100m Luo Xuejuan, CHN 1:06.64 Aug. 16, 2004
200m Agnes Kovacs, HUN 2:24.03 Sept. 20, 2000
To read this page in portuguese, click here.
To learn more about olympic aquatic events, read:
- The International Olympic Committee, UK edition; http://www.olympic.org/uk/index_uk.asp
- The Official Site of the Beijing Games; http://en.beijing2008.cn/
- World Book Online Encyclopedia; www.worldbook.com
- Hickok Sports: A database of sports records; www.hickoksports.com