Australia's Olympic swimming history is spectacular. For Superinteractive to be part of the Australian Dolphin’s road to Rio was amazing. What started as a conversation in December 2015 with Prof Damian Farrow, Professor of Skill Acquisition, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL) at Victoria University, where we got to talking about swimming’s need for a mobile technology that could measure key times easily and accurately (to 1/100th second) at any pool, went from strength to strength. Superinteractive’s Stomp Pad technology rapidly evolved into Pool Pad and was used across Australia. “We wanted coaches to be able to have access to an accurate timing system that didn’t require the full 8-lane competition system and its complex setup. What we got was an even better product. A simple mobile system that provides so much more than just lap timing," said Dr Mark Osborne, High Performance Science and Medicine Manager, Swimming Australia.
In January 2016, Superinteractive’s Pool Pad technology was first used by the Australian Olympic swimming team in the lead up to Rio 2016 as they trained at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), under the direction of Swimming Australia and sport’s biomechanist Dr Elaine Tor, Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS). After its benefits were established, Pool Pad was then used in South Australia, Queensland and various training camps around Australia. Next stop was Auburn University, USA (staging camp), as the team completed their final preparations for Rio. And then the magic started! Mack Horton gave Australia its first gold medal of the Olympics in the 400m freestyle. The team of Cate and Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Brittany Elmslie set a world mark of 3:30.65 in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay to defend the title won at the 2012 London Games. Swimming sensation Kyle Chalmers, at just 18 years of age, broke Australia's 48-year drought in the men's 100 metres freestyle, storming home to win gold and touch the wall in a personal best of 47.58 seconds.
Not to be out done, the Aussie Paralympic swimmers, who also trained with Pool Pad, quickly followed suit with inspiring performances in Rio. Ellie Cole, Maddison Elliott, Lakeisha Patterson and Ashleigh McConnell won Gold and broke the world record for the Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay by 34 Points with a time of 4.16.65. Cole also won gold in the Women's 100 m backstroke S9, three silver medals in the Women's 50 m and 400m Freestyle S9, Women's 4 x 100 Medley Relay 34 points and the bronze medal in the Women's 100m Freestyle S9. Incredible and very inspiring performances!
According to Dr Richard Helmer, Superinteractive’s CEO, “...Pool Pad’s evolution and success is a classic example of incredibly rapid prototyping, fast field validation, and quick success sharing as confidence grows. Close collaboration, listening to core needs, and responsiveness were a must. I am very proud of this technology!” he said.