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Fig. 1

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World’s fastest long-course freestyle swimming performances. (A) Average sex difference in swimming velocity (z-axis) across 5-year age groups 25 to 89 years (x-axis) and event distances 50 to 1500 m (y-axis). Greater sex differences were observed in older age groups and shorter race distances, with the largest sex difference for the 50 m in 85–89 year age group. (B) Average age-related performance decline (performance of 85–89 age group relative to 25–29 year age group) for women (red triangle) and men (blue circle) across swim event distances 50 to 1500 m. Age-related declines in performance were less for shorter (50 and 100 m) compared with the longer event distances (200 m up to 1500 m). Data were extracted from Senefeld and colleagues (Senefeld et al., 2016).

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