“Jaked” suit chalks up more swimming records


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There’s a nice article in today’s Globe and Mail about Amanda Reason, the 15-year-old swimmer who set a world record in winning the 50-metre breaststroke at the Canadian world championships trials on Wednesday. Of course, records in swimming aren’t what they used to be, as I complained last month. Sure enough, the article notes:

Amanda has sliced chunks off her best times this year, something she credits to her new team and coach.

Others have also pointed to her new swimsuit, called the Jaked, which is the latest evolution in the skin-tight synthetic suits that helped swimmers break more than 120 world records in the past couple years.

“There is no doubt the suit makes a difference,” Mr. Semenov said.

“But Canadians have been dressing up in the best suits for a while now and nobody’s been setting records. She’s a world record holder, not a person in a suit.”

Another record that fell at the same meet was the national record Mark Tewksbury set in winning Olympic gold in the 100-metre backstroke in 1992. Which brings up another point that was reported in this article, as well as several other newspapers, wire services and TV stations:

When she accomplished the feat in the 50-metre pool Wednesday at the World Championship trials in Montreal, Amanda did something no Canadian swimmer has managed since 1988.

My memory is a little hazy, but wasn’t Tewskbury’s swim in 1992 a world record, however briefly? I thought he set it, and then it was beaten in the relay a few days later. But I haven’t been able to find anything that confirms that (though this link does suggest it).

One Reply to ““Jaked” suit chalks up more swimming records”

  1. Interesting article by the Science of Sport guys here on the suits that are causing every record to be smashed in swimming: http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/06/swimsuit-debate-continued.html

    While I congratulate Amanda on her accomplishment (seeing as she’s likely competing against swimmers who are also wearing the Lazer and other such suits), it does make me a bit depressed that any record broken while wearing one of these suits doesn’t have an * beside it. Especially as it looks like FINA will ban them starting next year? Will that mean the records set this year will be there forever?

    Then again, I suppose the same could have been said about the clapskate in speedskating when it came out. Tough to draw the line between legitimate advances in equipment design and unfair mechanical advantage.

    Hopefully in Amanda’s case, the swimmer is just as good as the suit and she will continue to put down great results no matter what she’s wearing!

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