Mystery force blamed for Campbell sisters' shock Olympic performance

As Cate and Bronte Campbell continue to reel from missing out on Olympic medals in Rio, experts are claiming the swimmers may have been “robbed” of a medal.

So how did they jump to that conclusion?

Researchers analysing times in the pool have discovered swimmers in lanes five to eight had faster times than lanes one to four.

They put the time difference down to currents.

Apparently, swimmers in lane one were swimming against the strongest current while the swimmers over in lane eight had a bigger advantage due to a weaker current.

Ad. Article continues below.

You might be asking what does that mean for the Campbell sisters?

The researchers claim that in the 50m race that Cate Campbell placed 5th in, there was a 0.6% boost for the bronze medallist compared to the Australian.

Her sister Bronte, who placed 7th, and fellow Aussie Cameron McEvoy who failed to qualify for the men’s final also reportedly swam in lanes disadvantaged by the current.

The current claims have caused some to point fingers at the design of the pool in Rio.

Joel Stager, a director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at the Indiana University spoke about the problem in the Wall Street Journal.

Ad. Article continues below.

“It’s a big deal. This is horrific,” he said.

Interestingly, the pool in Rio was designed by the same company behind the pool used at the 2013 World Swimming Championships in Barcelona.

It turns out, studies by Mr Stager of that event also found similar issues with the times.

In 2014 Myrtha Pools USA acknowledged the data suggested a current in the pool, but have denied this was the case in Rio.

Ad. Article continues below.

“If we saw there was a current, we’d have done something about it,” Chairman Trevor Tiffany said.

Do you think a current in the pool is to blame? Or is it just an excuse?