The Variation of Performance in 100-m and 400-m Freestyle Events Before, During and After the COVID-19 Era in Greek Swimming Championships
Keywords:coronavirus, male swimmers, female swimmers, freestyle, swimming performance
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on almost all social activities, including participation in
competitions and swimming practices. Swimming training was significantly reduced in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 by four and two months, respectively (Tsalis & Mougios, 2022). During the following 2021-2022 season, swimmers' training returned to the normal level. The present study investigated the variation of performance in the 100-m and 400-m freestyle events, in the age groups 13-18 years old, during the 2019-2022 seasons in the four national Greek swimming championships. For the comparison of performance between years, regardless of the participants, a non-parametric analysis was applied, which showed a relative stability in the results of 100-m event during these years, while in the 400-m event showed a decline of performance during the years 2020 and 2021. To compare the results of swimmers who participated continuously in the championships, a repeated measures analysis of variance (on time) was applied, which showed a continuous improvement in performance regardless of the reduction in training in 2020 and 2021. In conclusion, abstaining from swimming training during the COVID-19 period had little effect on swimming performance in the 100-m events and a negative effect in the 400-m freestyle events in young Greek male and female swimmers.