Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Video

Today's video is from the 1998 World Championships when 2 of the fastest men in the wold (at the time) went head to head in 100FR. Australia's Michael Klim and Russia's Alexander Popov were at the top of their game in the 90s. They were also training partners in Australia during the time of this race.

A couple of things are worth noting here:
1.) The winner (Popov) went 48.93 which was 1/2 a second slower than his world record. This was after being STABBED IN THE CHEST by a watermelon vendor on the streets of Moscow in 1996 which punctured his lung and kidney (I didn't make that up...
2.) This is way before the time of tech suits. Most of these guys are wearing Lycra breifs (Lychra jammers absorb water and make you slower, but few people listen to me when I tell them that... breifs are much faster unless you have a tech jammer).
3.) This was at the height of Australian swimming when Kiran Perkins, Michael Klim, Ian Thorpe and others dominated the world scene. It was their hope to have the fastest sprinter in the world. Klim honestly didn't think that Popov would ever return to fast swimming after his attack in 1996. Klim later said that he was very disappointed that he lost and blown away that Popov was under 49 seconds.
4.) Brent Hayden was only a second faster this summer with 10 years of sports science and technology that didn't exist in 1998. Popov's world record was only 2 tenths of a second slower than Hayden's time this summer (again without any tech suits or comperable sport science).
5.) Popov was very full of himself and appologized for NOTHING. See these additional videos of him below. Some of his quotes are priceless. In his defence, he has good reason to believe that he is immortle... he was the best ever, then he survives being stabbed in the lung... then returns to being the best in the world... hard to think poorly of yourself under those conditions.

Below is a documentary about Popov for those of you who may be interested in him. To qualify the video, it was produced and written by his coach who was trying to propagandize himself into being the best coach ever. It should be noted that most of the theories and "secrets" about swimming in this video have been dispelled as just theory by Bob Bauman (Michael Phelps's coach) and others who have since changed the sport and rewritten the record board. For those of you who think that there is more than 1 way to skin a cat... should I be alarmed that you are skinning cats?? Is that legal??

Enjoy the video below, but please take it for what it is worth: its dated, but worth a watch. I can find some good pearls of wisdom in it.

UPDATE: after watching this video for 20min, the statement was made that for anyone to break Popov's record of 48.23, he would have to be taller than Popov. Popov is
6'3". Brent Hayden is 3cm shorter than Popov. Cesar Cielo, who holds the current WR (with a banned suit) of 46.91, is the same height.