The Olympic swimming events aren’t even over, and I can’t wait for the stats. It seems everyone and his frog (sorry :-) is breaking a record these days. I wrote a while back about Speedo’s LZR swimming suit…you know, the one which is more of a performance enhancer than most drugs? The men’s 4 X 100m freestyle relay was a great illustration of the phenomenal achievements in swimsuit design typified by the LZR. From the online media:
“The Americans shattered the world record set by their ''B'' team the previous evening in the preliminaries, touching with a time of 3 minutes, 8.24 seconds - nearly 4 full seconds below the 15-hour-old mark. Bernard was the world record holder in the 100, but he surrendered that mark as well. Australia's Eamon Sullivan broke the individual record by swimming the leadoff leg in 47.24 - ahead of Bernard's mark of 47.50. Lezak swam his 100 in a staggering 46.06, the fastest relay leg in history, though it doesn't count as an official record.”
Jason Lezak’s swim was awesome, regardless of what he was wearing. But why are these records tumbling so easily? If it isn’t drugs, it can really only be technology. I refuse to believe that refinements in training regimes and swimming techniques are responsible for such drastic reductions in record times. How much then do these records really mean? Just where are the IOC/WADA watchdogs, and why aren’t they barking?