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Breaststroke changes mulled – swimming official

February 27, 2013

London swim

Swimming’s world governing body FINA could relax the rules on breaststroke technique by the end of the year, the head of the Russian Swimming Federation said Tuesday.

There has long been controversy over swimmer using multiple “dolphin kicks” after the start and turns in breaststroke events, when the rules allow just one.

The kicks are difficult for judges to detect and underwater video monitoring is not allowed under current rules, leading to calls for the technique to be legalized in a 15-meter zone from the end of the pool.

“The athletes will be allowed to make an unlimited number of dolphin leg movements in the course of the first 15 meters of the distance, although actually it is realistic to do two or three,” Russian Swimming Federation president Vladimir Salnikov said in a statement on his organization’s website.

“In this case, they have decided at FINA that there is no sense to take measures on the basis of subjective judging in this situation, so they feel it is necessary to completely abandon this rule.”

The proposed change only applies to the start of the race, and the limit of one dolphin kick after turns will remain, he added.

The changes have already been discussed at a European Swimming League technical meeting and could be approved by FINA in the autumn, Salnikov said.

FINA officials have previously suggested the Barcelona meeting could instead approve underwater video monitoring of swimmers at major meets.


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