400m Individual Medley
The following article should explain when, and if, the group the current group making the worst times will surpass the other. Using a CASIO® Prism™, I graphed the data, and then interpreted the graph.
In the individual medley, the swimmer must swim four different strokes, each for equal distances. The strokes in order are: Butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Before 1952, the butterfly was considered the same as breaststroke, and so individual medleys were only 300m long. The first gold medalists for this category of olympic swimming were Donna De Varona and Richard William Roth, both from the USA. Michael Phelps is another prominent swimmer, making a gold medal for both the 2004 and 2008 400m individual medley.
(photo credit: Jmex60 on Wikimedia Commons)
Men and Women's Times
At this point in time, men are out preforming women in the 400m individual medley, and have out performed them the entirety of the time this event has run.
The graphs are shown here. From this, we can see the green X's, which represent the women's times, and the blue squares, representing the men's times. The red line represents the best fit line for the women, and the blue line represents the best time for the men.
From the graph, we see that the lines intercept at about 2845, -462. This means, that at the rate men's times and women's times are decreasing, women will never surpass men (as the y-coordinate represents time in seconds, and the y-coordinate is negative in this case) As the x-coordinate represents the year, even if the women would eventually outperform men, it would be hundreds of years before they did.
(Photo Credit: Karen Bhala on flickr)
olympics.org - the times for each year
wikimedia.org - access to the images