It has recently been announced that the Beijing Olympic Committee are considering turning the swimming program on it’s head, so that the swimming finals at the 2008 Olympic Games are in the morning and the heats in the evening.
The reason for this is so the finals are on at prime time in the US. I have no problem with this, and I think the swimmers should welcome it. Although the world’s top swimmers are professional athletes, as with all sports, there are able to be professionals due to sponsors and the public who enjoy watching them perform.
By swimming their finals in the morning they are able to satisfy both of these groups. Physiologically, they should be more than capable of swimming their best in the morning. Look at every swimmer’s training program, and you will see that they are up early every day doing laps in the pool. If the Olympic program is switched around, you will see all the lead up meets also change their program around so they can get used to the new schedule.
I have also always wondered about how fresh the swimmers are after swimming several heats in the morning then coming out later that day to swim in their finals. Having to come to the pool fresh each day to race their finals, we may well see better performances – then we will not be hearing any complaints.