28 Dec 2008

Coach says roll back the clock on swimsuit technology

5:37 pm on 28 December 2008

The coach of the world's fastest male and female swimmers says swimming must roll back the clock on suit technology but admits such a move could put world records out of reach for more than a decade.

In the wake of the breaking of more than 100 world marks this year the Australian coach Grant Stoelwinder believes the controversial Speedo LZR Racer shaved about 0.3 of a second off times per lap compared to previous suits - an enormous advance in sporting terms.

Stoelwinder, who coaches Libby Trickett and Eamon Sullivan, warns newer suits and the combination of wearing multiple outfits were handing swimmers even more of an edge than provided alone by the Speedo LZR.

He thinks only pre-2008 approved swimsuits should be allowed at next year's Rome world championships.

FINA has called a crisis meeting on February 20 to discuss the issue with swimwear manufacturers as well as FINA officials, athletes, coaches and legal commissions.