May 16, 2008
Olympic Athlete Technology
South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius [bladerunner] has won a landmark appeal over a ban on his artificial legs.
There will be a technology battle between the Biorubber Swim-SCS Fabric against the Speedo LZR Racer.
Japanese swimmers have been alarmed by the LZR Racer since its debut in February, with the suit accounting for 18 of the 19 new world records since then. Yamamoto said its Biorubber fabric has already been used, primarily for triathlon events. In October, swimwear by New Zealand brand Blue Seventy which used the fabric was approved by the international swimming federation FINA for its official meets, he said. Other suit makers, including Xterra of the United States, Australia's 2XU, Aquaman of France and New Zealand's Orca have also adopted the material, Yamamoto said. Five collegiate swimmers at Japan's Kansai University shaved their times by 1.0-2.0 seconds in 50 metres after switching to the Biorubber Swim fabric.
NOTE: 2 seconds over 50 meters is the difference between the current world record and the 1976 world record. It is the difference between the best mens time and the best womans time. 4 seconds for 50 meters is the difference between qualifying for the Olympics for the USA and the world record.
When Japanese Olympic swimmers tested the LRZ Racer last month, one of them improved his time for the first 15 metres by 0.7 seconds, said swimming federation official Norimasa Hirai. "I can imagine that in general the (Speedo) product means a difference of 0.5 seconds over 100 metres and one second over 200 metres," Hirai said.
Here is a site with swim time results for olympic swimming