Records have tumbled at the World Short Course Swimming Championships held in Manchester during the last week.
But controversy is in the water, or more to the point, in the Lycra.
Are the faster times down to the new swim suit made by Speedo?.
We’ve become quite used to seeing sports performances improved by the kit over the past few years, shaped cycling helmets to improve aerodynamics, baggy football and tennis shorts to improve ball play, colour co-ordinated Pringle sweaters to improve teamwork amongst the Ryder Cup golfers.
Once upon a time the only thing you needed to embark on a swimming career was a cozzie, preferably not hand knitted from wool, and a towel.
Then came goggles and racing hats, skimpier costumes that squashed and flattened to make you more streamlined, men as well as ladies took to the razor to shave off hundredths of a second along with all their body hair.
Then a revolution, suits that looked something like Captain Webb might have worn, knee length, full body suits, for the boys as well as the girls, some with vest tops, some short sleeved, some long, tight fitting and slick.
Pretty soon it will be telemetery feeding back to computers in the changing room and the technicians will be more important than the athletes, a bit like F1. The sport had evolved from pure human capability to technological enhancements.
So what is to be done?
Well in this thechnological era I reckon they should be made to swim nude, and if it’s televised they can pixellate the naughty bits.
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