Swimming Tutorial

Swimming Variants

Swimmers are classified into different categories. Mainly they are categorised into sprinting swimmers, middle swimmers and distance swimmers. These categories make each of them different in their abilities and this ability makes them good at any of their categories.

Sprinters or sprinting swimmers are good with their initial speed and power and they will put every energy they’ve got in the race without conserving any. These swimmers are looking at shorter distance and they put their maximum effort to take the lead in first place. The participating categories for these players are 50, 100 and 200 meter sprint race.

Middle distance swimmers are very careful in maintaining their speed along with conserving the energy for covering the distance. They will take their maximum in the initial stages and try to maintain and at the end they will go for full energy utilization on speed. Participating categories for these players will be 200 and 400 meter race.

Distance swimmers are very careful in their energy conservation and keeping above average speed for taking longer distance races. They always compete for longer distance races and for these kind of races they will be prepared for changing the swimming speed accordingly and use less and more energy according to the situation. They usually participate for distances 800 and 1500 meters.


 There are many tournaments happening around the globe and many of them will be having any of the 1 or 2 styles in the competitions. Competitions like Olympic Games are featuring all the styles and different race distances.  Let’s take a look at the major events and the categories of those.

Individual Races

In individual races the competitions will be conducted in all the 4 major styles. In Olympic Games there are five events conducted under free style. The events are 50,100,200,400 and 1500 meters foe men and 50, 100,200,400 and 800 meters for women. Under the styles breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke races of 100 and 400 meters will be conducted for both men and women.

Medley competitions are also conducted for individual races. I these events a single participants will be covering each quarter of the track with one style at a time in a single race. At Olympic Games individual’s medleys are conducted for 200 and 400 meters for both men and women.

Other individual medley races are not conducted in Olympic Games because the swimmer should use at least four strokes and 100 meters in the least that can be made for these events.

Relay events

Relay events are group events where different people will participate in one race for one team. For major competitions and all there will be teams for each country representing them in the competition. The group will be of four members in total but the members may vary depending on everyone’s health condition. If someone in the team is injured or anything, they can add another person for representing that country but anyhow the total members will be four and even if another member is added, he should be qualified.

Teamwoke and team sprit are the important factors needed for a relay event. There are both freestyle and medley events for relay.  In medaly relay event the each of the swimmer will be swimming quarter of the total length of the race in different style in an order of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. In freestyle medley event the swimmer can choose any style for swimming their part of race.

Olympic medley events are 4×100 meter freestyle relay, 4×200 meter relay and 4×100 meter medley relay.

Open pool swimming events

Open pool swimming events are long distance swimming events which cannot be conducted in a closed pool environment. These races will be conducted in lakes, rivers and oceans. In these races and events the swimmers are free to choose any style they want and can follow that. Front crawl is the common style used in these race competitions.

From the 2008 Beijing Olympics a 10 kilometres open water marathon swimming is been conducted and it’s been continued since then. There are many other open water events such as 5, 10, and 15 kilometres which are conducted in the world aquatic championship which will be held every two years.

Swimming events since 2012 Olympic Games.

  • 50 meter freestyle
  • 100 meter freestyle
  • 200 meter freestyle
  • 400 meter freestyle
  • 1500 meter freestyle for men and 800 meter freestyle for women
  • 100 meter backstroke
  • 200 meter backstroke
  • 100 meter breaststroke
  • 200 meter breaststroke
  • 100 meter butterfly
  • 200 meter butterfly
  • 200 meter individual medley
  • 400 meter individual medley
  • 4 × 100 meter freestyle relay
  • 4 × 200 meter freestyle relay
  • 4 × 100 meter medley relay
  • Marathon 10 km