Sex differences in elite swimming with advanced age are less than marathon running

J. Senefeld, Michael Joseph Joyner, A. Stevens, Sandra K. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


The sex difference in marathon performance increases with finishing place and age of the runner but whether this occurs among swimmers is unknown. The purpose was to compare sex differences in swimming velocity across world record place (1st-10th), age group (25-89 years), and event distance. We also compared sex differences between freestyle swimming and marathon running. The world's top 10 swimming times of both sexes for World Championship freestyle stroke, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly events and the world's top 10 marathon times in 5-year age groups were obtained. Men were faster than women for freestyle (12.4±4.2%), backstroke (12.8±3.0%), and breaststroke (14.5±3.2%), with the greatest sex differences for butterfly (16.7±5.5%). The sex difference in swimming velocity increased across world record place for freestyle (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-28
Number of pages12
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Aging
  • Gender
  • Marathon running
  • Master's athlete
  • Swimming
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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