Grant Hackett and Ian Thrope Swimming Analysis

TI coach Dave Cameron posted this amazing series of photos analyzing the freestyle stroke of Grant Hackett and Ian Thrope.
Two things I wanted to point out which were very interesting to me:
First, in pictures 5 and 6, it’s unbelievable to see how high their elbows are on the catch. I tried this and it seemed kind of awkward, and I think ultimately I probably dropped my elbow much more than these swimmers did. I also didn’t feel the full advantage afforded by such a high elbow catch. I hope to work on this more as the beginning TI drills we tend to spear to a certain low position, versus spearing more horizontal and then catching from there, which tends to be something we work on after we get past the beginning drills.
Second, in 14, the text says that in a picture of Hackett that he presses his chest down while breathing. Breathing up to this point for me has always seemed to stop me dead during that moment. So I began trying to press the armpit/chest right at the moment of breathing and some interesting things happened:
1. At the moment of pressing, my head sank very fast and there was only a small moment when I could take my breath before water encircled my sideways facing mouth. This was in contrast to being simply turned and I had more time to take a breath.
2. When I consciously pressed at the breathing moment, my hips rode higher and my momentum was preserved much better, meaning that I still had forward movement versus coming to a stop during the breath.
I hope to see more of these analyses of top swimmers. It’s so instructive to see how they move through the water.