The 5th Stroke 10 Years On: When The USA Led Leap In Standards With A Drive Of Dolphin

Ryan Lochte - by Patrick B. Kraemer

This day ten years ago in Melbourne, the heat was about to be turned up on swimming speed without a hint of material advantage. It was the eve of competition at a World Championships and the United States had been practising the art of dolphin-kicking out of starts and turns like it had never been used before. Then at the helm of Britain, Bill Sweetenham coined the phrase ‘the fifth stroke’ in an interview for The Times with this author. He said at the time: “The dolphin kick we’re seeing here has to be considered the fifth stroke now. I think swimming has moved to a new era, a new level.

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This day ten years ago in Melbourne, the heat was about to be turned up on swimming speed without a hint of material advantage. It was the eve of competition at a World Championships and the United States had been practising the art of dolphin-kicking out of starts and turns like it had never been used before. Then at the helm of Britain, Bill Sweetenham coined the phrase ‘the fifth stroke’ in an interview for The Times with this author. He said at the time: “The dolphin kick we’re seeing here has to be considered the fifth stroke now. I think swimming has moved to a new era, a new level.

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