Dr. J. has a touch of the insomnia, so he went to the London 2012 results page and ran the numbers on the Ye/Lochte controversy.
This graph represents Ye and Lochte’s split times for each pool length. This is where things get interesting. Each split gets longer and longer, as the swimmers progress from butterfly to back to breast stroke, but ultimately collapse on top of each other for the freestyle. Which is where the controversy arose.
This graph represents the total time elapsed at each length of the pool, with Ye in red and gold and Lochte in red white and blue. As you can see, the curves divide fairly early and are fairly linear. Perhaps you see a slight downward bend of Ye’s curve towards the end of the race. When you look at the data this way, it clearly comes across as much ado about nothing.
Now lets look at the delta’s:
Here we have the differences between the split times. Again, what you see is that after building a fairly robust lead (3-4 seconds per lap), Lochte runs out of gas, and/or Ye rallys.
Or when you add up the deltas, you see the same thing. Lochte builds a lead, then in the last lap, he slows down, she speeds up, or both.
The question remains, is she superhuman or not?
To do this, Dr. J. went back and looked at Lochte’s splits in the 4×100 relay.
In blue, you have Lochte’s first and second splits in his 100m portion of the 4×100 relay. In red, you have his 7th and 8th splits in the 400 IM. In red and gold, you have Ye’s 7th and 8th splits in the 400 IM. Clearly Lochte swims 100 meters much faster when he is fresh, than when he isn’t. You also see his 5 second drop off in the second 50 meters of the 4×100. Both he and Jones had about 5 second drops in their second 50 meters. The first two swimmers had about a two second drop in their time. Furthermore, last night, Ye swam a 29.32s freestyle split in the 200IM, which is not dissimilar to her 400 IM splits.
Dr. J. stands by his conclusion that Ye has greater stamina than Lochte, and he just plain got tired more quickly than she did, just as he did compared to the Adrian and Phelps in the 4×100.