FINA confirms: Backstroke dolphin kicks are illegal in medley freestyle

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Excerpt from a memo sent out by FINA this morning, see also FINA clarifies: Ryan Lochte used illegal dolphin kicks in Kazan:

SW 9 MEDLEY SWIMMING

SW 9.1 In individual medley events, the swimmer covers the four swimming strokes in the following order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle. Each of the strokes must cover one quarter (1/4) of the distance.

Interpretation:
According to SW 9.1 each of the strokes must cover one quarter (1/4) of the distance. Being on the back when leaving the wall for the Freestyle portion of the Ind. Medley is covering more than one quarter of the distance in the style of Backstroke and is, therefore, a disqualification. Backstroke swimming is only defined as being on the back.

This interpretation is based on the following FINA Swimming rules:

SW 5 FREESTYLE
SW 5.1
“except that in individual medley or medley relay events, freestyle means any style other than backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly.”

SW 6 BACKSTROKE
SW 6.1 to SW 6.5
There are no kick or stroke requirements. The swimmer “must push off and swim upon his back throughout the race” “Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race.” Except for the 15 m at the start and turn.

SW 7 BREASTSTROKE
SW 7.1 to SW 7.6
There are specific stroke and kick requirements.

SW 8 BUTTERFLY
SW 8.1 to SW 8.5
There are specific stroke and kick requirements.

MEDLEY SWIMMING
SW 9.1 Each of the strokes must cover one quarter (1/4) of the distance.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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