38 swimmers wearing the suit have set new records since its introduction in February. Just yesterday, Kosuke Kitajima clocked 2min 7.51sec at the Japan Open to break the world record for men’s 200m breaststroke.
You see, the Speedo design is stealing the thunder from the athletes.
Yet, some athletes actually swear by it. Singapore’s 18-year-old Tao Li, who set a new record for 200m butterfly at the National Championships yesterday, said “I feel more confident when I swim in the suit, but the most important factor is still training hard.”
The unfortunate trend is that the sport is now as much about product superiority as it is about sportsmanship.
To level the playing field again, sports councils ought to take a leaf from beauty pageants – they make contestants parade in gowns of similar design.
But then again, sportswear is but one of various forms of performance enhancement means.