Race Profiles of Rowers During the 2014 Youth Olympic Games

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Cerasola, D, Cataldo, A, Bellafiore, M, Traina, M, Palma, A, Bianco, A, and Capranica, L. Race profiles of rowers during the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. J Strength Cond Res 32(7): 2055–2060, 2018—Among the different factors affecting the outcome of elite rowing competitions, pacing strategy plays a relevant role. The purpose of this study was to analyze the race profiles of youth athletes competing at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games over a distance of 1,000 m. According to the competition outcome of sculling and sweep events, 96 youth (17–18 years) rowers (48 male and 48 female) were divided into winner (W), not winner (NW), qualified (Q), and not-qualified (NQ) athletes. The time during the 1,000-m race distance was considered at 0–500 m (T1) and 500–1000 m (T2). The average speed of T1 and T2 were normalized in relation to the average speed of the whole race. In both sexes, W rowers showed higher (p > 0.05) T2 values (100.8 ± 0.9%) with respect to T1 (99.2 ± 0.9%) ones. Female athletes showed a higher (p ≤ 0.05) T1 with respect to T2 in NW, Q, and NQ, whereas male athletes exhibited a higher T1 (p ≤ 0.05) than T2 speed only in NQ. While to be admitted to the final phase of the competition, the rowers tended to favor a positive race strategy (88%); during the final phase, a difference (p = 0.43) emerged for outcome, with the majority of medalists (67%) adopting a negative race strategy. These results suggest that winners have applied a different race strategy compared with the other groups in consequence to a higher efficiency of anaerobic metabolism.

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