Photo Finish At The Olympics Marathon Swim

Photo Finish At The Olympics Marathon Swim

The difference at winning and losing is often incredibly close.

At major international open water swimming championships and at the Olympics, the competition among the elite athletes is often so close that high-speed cameras are required to distinguish who wins and who loses.

These cameras are focused on the vertical plane of the finish pads and are similar to the camera equipment used in rowing, track and motor sports.

Even with these high-speed cameras, it still takes time for the officials to sort through the finishes where several swimmers often come barreling into the finish all at once.

Even when you look at the photo finish, there are visual distortions,” explained Jason Moody of Powerhouse Timing. “These arise from different rates of speed. The camera is shooting thousands of lines per second (frames per second). Because swimmer’s the hand is moving extremely fast, it looks distorted. We are able to use these cameras to a general precision of 1/100th of a second or greater.”

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source