PURPOSE: To evaluate statistical models developed for predicting medal-winning performances for international swimming events and generate updated performance predictions for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
METHODS: The performance of 2 statistical models developed for predicting international swimming performances was evaluated. The first model employed linear regression and forecasting to examine performance trends among medal winners, finalists, and semifinalists over an 8-year period. A machine-learning algorithm was used to generate time predictions for each individual event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The second model was a Bayesian framework and comprised an autoregressive term (the previous winning time), moving average (past 3 events), and covariates for stroke, gender, distance, and type of event (World Championships vs Olympic Games). To examine the accuracy of the predictions from both models, the mean absolute error was determined between the predicted times for the Budapest 2022 World Championships and the actual results from said championships.
RESULTS: The mean absolute error for prediction of swimming performances was 0.80% for the linear-regression machine-learning model and 0.85% for the Bayesian model. The predicted times and actual times from the Budapest 2022 World Championships were highly correlated (r = .99 for both approaches).
CONCLUSIONS: These models, and associated predictions for swimming events at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, provide an evidence-based performance framework for coaches, sport-science support staff, and athletes to develop and evaluate training plans, strategies, and tactics, as well as informing resource allocation to athletes, based on their potential for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 24 Jul 2023|