Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Drowning, not waving

We've covered swimsuit technology before, and the problems it's causing for the sport of swimming as it helps swimmers smash world records they might not otherwise have broken, and now, with the swimming world championships taking place, the debate has reared out of the water once again.

An in-depth piece on The Guardian underlines the extent of the problem, and the sports governing bodies indecision as to how best deal with it. It's hard to know which side to fall on. In many ways the evolution of technology is as much a part of sport as rule changes and nutritional improvements. If the suits are available to all then surely it's still a level playing field? But, then again, if the suits give an unnatural advantage against the very element that is supposed to make the sport what it is, then the essence of the sport, the competition and, at a basic level 'fair play' is scuppered.

It seems as if the suits will be scrapped for 2010, meaning the next Olympics will not be involved in this dispute. However, it seems unlikely, given the regularity with which this topic is covered, that 2010 will see all the problems simply washed away.

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