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[–] mite 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Each swimmer does not start from a standstill in a relay. The rule dictates that the body of each subsequent swimmer must still be touching the starting block at the moment the body of the incoming swimmer touches the wall. However, the starting swimmer is fully allowed to have begun their forward motion (or start), as their teammate is approaching the wall. A disqualification is called if the starting swimmer leaves the blocks before the finishing swimmer touches the wall.

Significant effort is spent perfecting the timing for relay starts in which the diver has nearly completed their dive, i.e. almost completely out over the water, yet their toes are still touching the block as their teammate finishes. Relay starts are enormously faster than standard race starts, so they result in faster overall times. This advantage does not exist for the swimmer who swims the first leg of a relay, and therefore executes a standard race start. I think I remember that you can even officially set records as the first relay swimmer, though not sure on that.

Legal start

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[–] IAmLegend [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

That explains it perfect. Thanks!

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[–] mite 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Glad to assist. It's a rare experience that I feel like I have something to contribute on this sub.