Swimming-Aussies' dive into 'knowledge lake' brings success in Tokyo pool

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Aug 4 (Reuters) – Australia’s swim staff head house from the Tokyo Games with a haul of 9 gold medals – their greatest ever efficiency on the Olympics, partly because of a swap to a brand new knowledge analytics system aimed toward bettering athletes’ performances.

The ‘Dolphins’ had been propelled to unprecedented success because of their ladies’s staff, led by Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown, who mixed bagged eight gold medals, together with the 4x100m freestyle and medley relays.

McKeon accomplished the dash double, profitable the 50m and 100m freestyle, earlier than claiming two relay golds and surpassing Australian greats Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones to change into the nation’s most embellished Olympian with 11 medals.

Titmus bested American rival Katie Ledecky within the 200m and 400m freestyle, and McKeown took the 100m and 200m backstroke titles, whereas Zac Stubblety-Cook secured gold within the males’s 200m breaststroke.

Two years earlier than arriving in Tokyo, Swimming Australia entered right into a partnership with cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services (AWS) to attempt to achieve a aggressive benefit by harnessing efficiency knowledge extra successfully.

That determination helped Australia’s squad higher the nation’s earlier report tally of eight golds at Melbourne all the best way again in 1956.

“In swimming, there isn’t really a central database for results,” Jess Corones, Swimming Australia’s efficiency options supervisor, advised Reuters.

“Normally, we might have to have a look at 4 or 5 totally different web sites to collate a extremely good world understanding of efficiency.

“What AWS permits us to do is automate that, as a result of usually I’d have to take a seat there with three totally different screens and manually take that knowledge off net pages and enter it into Excel spreadsheets.”

The new method was successful with each athletes and coaches, permitting them to entry AWS’s dashboards on their cell gadgets and observe their progress in actual time.

“Quite typically,” Corones said, “they’d come as much as me and go, ‘Can we get that Amazon factor out and take a look on the Amazon factor?’

“I think they find it really helpful as they can form a plan around it, and it gives them a better understanding of what they’re trying to achieve.”

Swimming Australia’s knowledge was built-in right into a unified on-line depository referred to as a “data lake”, utilized by the staff for the primary time at an Olympics to pick relay groups and predict these of their rivals, amongst different issues.

“We’ve got a couple of applications that feed off the data lake,” Corones stated. “It’s all the time a training determination, however (the info) gives extra info to make the right determination after we’re deciding on the staff and what order to ship them in.

“The knowledge gave coaches path and allowed them to make evidence-based choices on what they’re doing. So somewhat than simply assuming, or guessing, the info’s there to offer the proof for his or her decision-making course of.”

The solely main blemish in Australia’s marketing campaign was their ladies’s staff settling for bronze within the 4x200m freestyle relay, a outcome broadly criticised over staff choice.

But such was the success in Tokyo that Swimming Australia’s path seems to be firmly linked to the brand new data-driven method.

“I feel the thoughts boggles actually at what (the info lake) is able to,” Corones added.

“It’s simply the muse of what we’re doing. It’s a comparatively new factor for us in swimming, however the issues we need to do with that sooner or later are simply countless.”

Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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