Old-fashioned swimsuits make a comeback

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The Independent Online
ALL-IN-ONE men's swimsuits, all the rage in the Twenties, are poised to make a comeback at the Barcelona Olympics, writes Roger Tredre.

Top-grade swimmers who wear the hi-tech all-in- one swimsuits can shave tenths of a second off their times, according to Speedo, the swimwear company, which yesterday unveiled its new all-in-ones for men and women in central London. A bonus is that men will no longer need to shave their chests.

Mike Barrowman, a leading US swimmer, wore the all-in-one in competition in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was greeted with a chorus of catcalls and whistles, but beat Nelson Diebel, American record-holder, in the 100 metres breaststroke. The swimsuit, the S2000, reverses the conventional wisdom that naked skin offers the least resistance.

For British swimmers, the arrival of the S2000 is not good news. They are contractually bound to Adidas for the Olympics, although many of them have it in training.

Nick Gillingham, (right), a silver medallist in Seoul, yesterday modelled the swimsuit he will not be able to wear along with fellow Olympic swimmers Liz Arnold and Mike Fibbins. He tried to be positive. 'I always swim with a full-body shave. It stimulates the nerve endings.'

(Photograph omitted)