Swimming: Top coach fears Fina may ban `longjohns'

A TOP Australian swimming coach warned yesterday that the new "longjohn" swimsuits favoured by Britain's European champions, Paul Palmer and Sue Rolph may be outlawed by the world governing body, Fina.

And, looking ahead to the approaching Pan Pacific Championships, the Australian head coach, Don Talbot, has warned his own country's world champions, Michael Klim and Ian Thorpe, that they risk losing any records they set if they choose to wear the revolutionary neck-to-ankle suits.

The championships start in Sydney on Sunday and Talbot said any swimmer using the suits could theoretically be stripped of world records if Fina subsequently declares them illegal. "They might [be stripped] if it proves to be illegal because of buoyancy - although I've seen drugs become illegal and swimmers have still kept those world records and their titles," Talbot said.

He added that Klim and the world 400-metre champion, Ian Thorpe, had indicated they would wear the suits at the championships, but a spokes- man from Australian Swimming said that Thorpe was unlikely to try it out. Senior technical officials from Fina will be in Sydney for the eight-day meet at the new Sydney Olympic pool.

"I'm going to be in their ears about it," Talbot said of the new suits. The veteran Australian coach wants Fina to rule on whether the suits give swimmers extra buoyancy. "It should really be the responsibility of the manufacturers of the suit to clear it with Fina. To my knowledge, none of that has been done," he said. "I think it's appalling that we've got to the stage now when we've got to start questioning suit legality so close to a major meet."

The suits' makers, Speedo Australia, said yesterday that Talbot was wrong and that Fina had already cleared the style. A spokesman said: "Swimmers have already used neck to knee suits and what everyone seems to be getting into a song and dance about is that it's gone from the knee to the ankle and that doesn't seem worth the fuss."

But Talbot argued that the legality of the suit was expected to be discussed at a Fina technical meeting in the next six weeks, well after the Pan Pacifics.

The suits were unveiled at last month's European Championships in Istanbul, where Palmer wore one in the process of winning the 400m freestyle gold. Swimwear manufacturers say the "hydrodynamic suits" reduce drag in the water.

Klim, who won two individual gold medals and two relay golds at last year's world championships in Perth, has also worn the suit in competition. One Australian who will not risk wearing the suit is Susie O'Neill, who will try to break Mary T Meagher's 18-year-old 200m butterfly world record next week.

Scott Volkers, O'Neill's coach, said she had tested the new suits but hers did not fit properly. He also said O'Neill did not want to have the record questioned if she managed to go under the mark set by Meagher, who was known as "Madam Butterfly" in her prime.

"Susie has tested the suit and it was a bit big," Volkers said. "She's indicated to me that she'll wear her normal aqua blade suit."

O'Neill will retire after next year's Sydney Olympics and believes that the Pan Pacifics, Olympic trials and the Games are her only three chances of beating Meagher's mark.

Suggested Topics
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker