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Dolphin kick allowed in breaststroke swimming
Latest Updated by 2005-07-25 15:03:35

A dolphin kick is permitted in breaststroke swimming under certain restrictions, according to the commentary of the FINA Technical Congress released here on Saturday.

At 2004 Athens Olympics, American backstroker Aaron Peirsol accused Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima of using an illegal dolphin kick at the start of men's 100m breaststroke that helped propel the Japanese star to a gold medal.

While Kitajima held his gold despite of controversy, Chinese swimmer Qi Hui was disqualified for a dolphin kick in the turn of women's 100m breaststroke final in Athens. However, the breaststroke specialist believed it was the mistake of the judges.

Certain rule changes aimed to improve the discipline have been approved in the FINA Technical Congress, among which the change inbreaststroke seemed the most significant one.

According to the new rule, during the breaststroke start and turns, while the swimmer is wholly submerged, a single downward dolphin kick followed by a breaststroke kick is permitted.

"The new rule ends decades of controversies (the first one occurred in Berlin, in 1978, at the World Championships, the latest last year in Athens at the Olympics)," said FINA on its website.

Having heard about the rule changes, Chinese star Luo Xuejuan'scoach Zhang Yadong said, "No matter how the rules changes, all we can do is just follow the rules.

"However, the new rule may lead to a holistic improvement of the results in breaststroke events."

Besides, breaststroke specialist Tara Kirk of the United States said, "That's really good news, we will never worry about being disqualified for a dolphin kick any more."

However, since the new rule is to be effective sixty days afterits date of approval, all the swimmers in breaststroke in Montreal have to remain alert according to Qi Hui's disqualification.

In addition, the backstroke finish rule has officially been clarified. Now it is legal for a swimmer to be completely submerged not only during the turn but also during the last stroke. Also in backstroke, swimmers are now allowed to start withtheir feet out of the water. It is no more mandatory that "The feet, including the toes, shall be under the surface of the water".

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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