Column by Steven V. Selthoffer, Chief European Columnist DEBRECEN, Hungary, June 6. THE 31st LEN European Long CourseChampionships concluded with controversy once again regarding the timing systems used in thesport . Initially, this time, the timing system problem was regarding arelay exchange and no-show data streams that failed, however, theproblems may go much deeper than originally suspected.
The 31st LEN European Championships were held as another chance forswimmers to showcase their talents in an attempt to achieve FINA Aand B Olympic qualifying times prior to the upcoming London 2012Olympic Games. However, the swimmers’ efforts and their times andplaces may be in jeopardy. Preliminary Analysis The 31st LEN European Championships appear to have a high number ofties (meaning two or more swimmers with the same time, to thehundredth of a second, in the same heat, or event) in relation tothe number of swimmers in the event and/or in the meet comparedwith other championship meets. The high numeric quantity of ties apparently occur almostpredictably at certain rank/places, 6th, 8th, 13th and 26th place.The total number of ties appear to be in two separateclusters/groups.
And there appears to be an unusually high numberof ties in the semifinals and finals in relation to otherchampionship meets. This is cause for concern regarding the integrity of the system,the actual times and places of the swimmers, and if the same systemand/or engineering, design and components will be used in theupcoming London 2012 Olympic Games. Process and Examination of the Charts The entire 31st LEN European Championships were examined andanalyzed by every heat, in every event, in every day, for the fullseven-day period. While the analysis is only preliminary and notdefinitive (there may be errors) there are some startlingrevelations. FULL ANALYSIS CHARTS All of the ties that occurred were recorded in each day, by placeand the number of individual swimmers in the tie were recordedalso. Aqua Park Equipment
Charts were made from Day 1 through Day 7, that were colorcoded, assigning a color for the ties occurring in each particularday, and then assigning one square to represent one swimmer in eachtie. So, if there was one tie for 8th place, on Day 1 in an event,two red squares would be colored in for 8th place on the Day 1chart. If there was another tie for 8th place on Day 2, between twoswimmers, then two orange squares would be colored, in the 8thplace tie column, and so on. Then, there was a Total Chart made of all the ties and places forthe entire LEN championship meet so that any repetition and totalaccumulation could be seen in the data. Water Park Equipments Manufacturer
Results Confirm Clustered Repetition The preliminary analysis of the number of ties in the championshipsand the clustering and frequency of certain specific ties repeatingin certain specific numerical places in initial observations isconfirmed from the preliminary data charts. Please see FULL ANALYSIS CHARTS . The ties in rank/places 6, 8, 13 and 26 beginning on Day 1 appearto be compounded and repeat four times the following days. Ties for 3rd, 11th, 12th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, 35th, and 36th, happenthree times. On Day 1, of the 18 separate places that contains ties that day,72.22%, of the places repeat over the next six days. China Water Pool Slides
On Day 3, 14 out of 20 of the ties, 70% are exactly on rank/placewith other ties from Day 1 and/or Day 2, including 5th, 6th, 8th,13th, and 26th places. That does not demonstrate randomdistribution. Two Clusters of Ties The ties appear to be clustered in two distinct groups, one largecluster from 3rd to 26th places and a second minor cluster from34th to 38th places. The distribution of ties does not appear to berandom. After a tie in Day 1 for 25th place, on Day 3 there were three moreties in three separate events also for 25th place.
That is a veryunusual anomaly. On Day 1 in the men’s 100m Backstroke there were six different tiesinvolving 12 swimmers. Then the ties in those specific places, 6th,10th, 19th, 21st, and 36th continue to be the base of the ties andcontinue in other events, on other days through the championships. Semifinals and Finals There appears to be a high number of swimmers in semifinals andfinals involved in ties, given the total number of swimmers in themeet.
Of the 11 places that contained ties in the semi-finals andfinals, 72.72% were the same and repeated from the heats on Day 1. In the USA Swimming Nationals there are sometimes 150 – 190swimmers per event, with A, B, and C finals. This meet was muchsmaller. However, in the 31st LEN European Championships there were 42swimmers involved in ties in the semi-finals and finals. And therewere a total of 170 swimmers involved in ties for the 31st LENEuropean Championships.
2CY Chemometry Consultancy The top European consulting agency on chemometrics and statistics,2CY Chemometry Consultancy, Beek-Ubbergen, NED, has been given thecharts and has been notified of the meet results and ties. KlaasFaber, PhD, and CEO, 2CY Chemometry Consultancy, briefly discussedthe results today, expressing his concerns and is awaiting moredata and comments from Omega and FINA. 2CY Chemometry Consultancyprovides consultancy for statistics conducting research with anumber of universities, corporations and non-profit institutions inEurope and around the world. Omega Timing Laurence Germiquet, Swiss Timing Ltd., the developers of the OmegaTiming System used at the meet stated in an email, “The statistics(number of ties) what we can tell you about are the followingChampionships.
Rome World Championships 2009, Budapest EuropeanChampionships 2010, Shanghai World Championships 2011, CanadaOlympic Trials 2012… According to internal research ties are between 3% – 4%. (The)Debrecen European Championships 2012 were also in this percentage.We controlled the ties in our company in 1,000 (0.000) of a secondand we had only one tie, and this (in this particular) one in10,000 (0.0000) of a second was a difference. For Rome, Budapest, Shanghai and Canada we used the ARES system. InDebrecen we used the QUANTUM system.
For this reason we could go tothe 10,000 of a second. We are open to discussion with FINA and/or LEN for any furtherquestions.” Omega’s response was timely and appreciated. FINA and LEN FINA and LEN have been contacted. LEN has no further comment andthere has been no reply from FINA as of this date.
More Data Needed Analyzing the data alone so far can be risky without agreed uponcomparisons to other European championships with the same timingsystem and a different one, in order to give knowledge of thecontext. That will be accomplished in the next phase. We will continue toreport on these developments as they happen. Note: 1.) We wish to thank Laurence Germiquet, on behalf of PeterHurzeler, Swiss Timing Ltd., for their contributions to thearticle.
Swiss Timing Ltd. . 2.) Errors. We have reviewed thousands of swimmer/events over thepast 10 days for the three Olympics, U.S.
National Championships,the 31st LEN European Championships, and other meets. These areonly preliminary figures for discussion purposes only. They are notdefinitive and may contain errors. Thank you for yourconsideration.