Omega – Official Timekeeper of the FINA World Swimming Championships
Omega assumed the role as the Official Timekeeper once again at the FINA World Swimming Championships that was held in Doha, Qatar. The brand has a long history of involvement in the development of special timekeeping technology and equipment for various high profile sports and events. This event was no exception, as the brand revealed a new equipment, an underwater lap counter and backstroke ledges, both of which were created specifically to benefit swimmers.
Backstroke Ledge –
The backstroke ledge improves the start push and trajectory of the swimmers when they enter the water. The angel that is created by the legs in relation to the water surface during the final push off the wall is greater, which results in the swimmer’s feet travel the path during the start phase of flight with less contact to the water.
In addition, the height of the backstroke ledge is adjustable, and has a grip mechanism that is covered with an anti-skid surface that will give more confidence to swimmers as they enter the water. This is a significant addition, and it allows the swimmers to increase the power and force of their pushoff and ultimately able to aid to their performance.
Omega brand ambassadors, Natalie Coughlin, a twelve time Olympic medalist, and Aaron Peirsol, a seven time Olympic medalist, and backstroke specialist played a fundamental role in developing this new equipment.
“I’m really excited about the backstroke ledge. It takes the guessing out of the start. When a backstroke swimmer is about to start on a slippery vertical wall, the last thing he or she wants to worry about is slipping. Having the backstroke ledge is great because it allows the swimmer to focus on the power of the start” said Natalie Coughlin.
Lap Counter –
Freestyle, butterfly, and breaststroke swimmers will now be able to take advantage of the lap counters that will be placed at the bottom of the pool. Each lane will have one lap counter that is positioned on the opposite side of the finish which counts down the number of laps that remain for the competitor swimming in that lane.
Prior to this addition, officials would stand at the edge of the pool next to the starting blocks of each lane and would display the number of remaining laps to the swimmer. This would distract the competitor by shifting his/her attention from swimming.
The new highly visible digital screens will ensure that the swimmers can concentrate on their technique and on their position in the race while remaining aware of the distance they have yet to swim.