A new website administered by Edinburgh University will allow sports commentators at the forthcoming Olympics to call on fascinating facts to add depth to their coverage.
Among the most intriguing snippets is the fact that tall stature and long limbs put short-distance swimmers at an advantage, while the stockier builds appear more suited to breaststroke and long-distance events. Also on offer are nuggets such as: while there is a wealth of information about take-off techniques for somersaulting gymnasts, there is much less understanding of the landings.
Academics from around the world compiled the coaches' information service for the International Society of Biomechanics in Sport, a non-profit organisation devoted to providing information to enhance the enjoyment of sport. Staff from institutions ranging from Australia's University of the Sunshine Coast and Michigan State University to Leeds Metropolitan University and Edinburgh cover a range of sports including gymnastics, track athletics, golf, volleyball, swimming and paralympics.