Rio Pool Lane 5 Unfair Advantage: Current In Pool Made Athletes Win – Report

Rio Pool Lane 5 Unfair Advantage: Current In Pool Made Athletes Win – Report
Michael Phelps in the 400 IM Karen Blaha CC BY-SA 2.0

In a major sporting event as big as the Rio Olympics, cheating is unforgivable. Now, speculation that the current in the 8-lane Rio pool favors some swimmers is rather surprising.


This, according to reports, raised questions from various swimming competitions in the Rio Olympics. According to a group of researchers who conducted a similar study on the subject in 2013, the same problem might have happened in this month’s event in Rio, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Rio Pool Unfair?

Joel Stager, who led the team of researchers from the Indiana University’s Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming, said that scores of those who competed in this month’s 50-meter swimming events in Rio showed a significant variation of scores in relation to which lane of the pool they swam in.

The team indicated, based on their analysis, that the score variation is indicative that certain lanes of the 8-lane pool in Rio favored some swimmers. They found that swimmers who swam in lanes 4 through 8 registered a better score, which made them qualify for the finals.

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The group added that swimmers who swam in lanes 4 through 8 swam slower when they swam in lanes 1 through 4 after advancing to the next round.

Current in Rio Pool

Meanwhile, sports commentator and analyst Barry Revzin made a statistical representation on how the athletes’ scores vary relative to which lane they were in. His observation, published in Swimming sports website SwimSwam, showed the huge disparity.

“These results are very disconcerting to me, but do not in and of themselves prove that there is a problem. However, the data strongly point to serious problem in the pool which could have led to an unfair competitive environment, especially in the 50m freestyles. I think it should be investigated,” Revzin wrote.

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