Thursday, 29 September 2011
Is Pieter Van den Hoogenband Insane or Brilliant?
Craig Lord at Swimnews has published Pieter Van den Hoogenband's 10-point plan, which the Dutch former superstar believes will revolutionise the sport of swimming. Check out the list below and then give your opinion in the comments section below... there are some shocking, interesting and downright outrageous suggestions.
1. Abolish the existing world records set in high-tech suits.
2. Remove the 800m and 1500m events from the pool swimming programme to avoid losing the audience's attention.
3. Get rid of the 50m Fly, Back and Breast events from the World Championships to bring it in line with the Olympics.
4. Give swimmers more power in the upper echelons of FINA. He cites the opportunity Alex Popov has to influence FINA, which still falls short of the power former track and field athletes Seb Coe and Sergey Bubka wield.
5. Change the timing system to three decimal points to avoid ties for gold medals (such as the Men's 100m Back and Women's 100m Free in Shanghai).
6. Cut down medal presentations to just medal plus anthem to keep the flow of the finals session moving in the right direction.
7. Let every nation have it's own colour swim cap to make it easier for the audience to tell which swimmer is which, as well as keeping (and improving) the sliding door entry of finalists that we saw in Shanghai.
8. Improve the advertising that we see from major swim brands. He describes the Phelps and Lochte Speedo ad as childish compared to the slick Puma adverts that Usain Bolt appears in.
9. Have swimmers express themselves post-race in a better way, as well as listening to them on technical improvements that can be made (he cites Aaron Peirsol's suggestion to improve the backstroke starting block).
10. Introduce a more rigid, universal calendar where Olympic qualification takes place in the same week around the world to avoid discrepancies in the world rankings, as well as removing the World Cup Series and instead having a Diamond League-esque series of competitions immediately after the World Championships.