As far as I'm aware there are 800m and 1500m events for freestyle in the pool but for other strokes such as breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly it seems to be capped at 200m. Why is this the case for the other strokes?


I'm aware that butterfly is a taxing stroke to sustain, but one can imagine that athletes would have the capacity to train for a length of 400m. Assuming this is the case, would it be possible to push this to 800m?

  • Note that "freestyle" is not a stroke, rather, it is the race in which any stroke is permitted. That other strokes are limited in distance suggests strongly that they cannot be reasonably maintained longer without the stroke technique suffering to the extent that the stroke is no longer being performed. However, one would need references to confirm this; previous answers here on the difference between stroke races and freestyle have pointed out the fact the stroke races only exist to preserve those strokes in competition use.
    – Nij
    Oct 4, 2021 at 9:51
  • It can be done. One just has to train for it. However, I doubt anybody would want to see a 400 fly, breast or back.
    – prata
    Oct 4, 2021 at 14:59
  • 1
    @Nij - except in the medley relay and individual medley where the freestyle leg cannot be done in back, breast, or fly.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 21, 2021 at 2:55


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