When technology went too far: Swimming’s fantastic plastic suits

Introduction of Speedo's LZR Racer plasticized swimsuit in February 2008 ~ when technology overtook swimming.

PALM DESERT, July 21, 2017 – The swimming portion of the FINA World Championships starts on Sunday with American superstar Katie Ledecky possibly ready to better her own world record in the women’s 400 m Freestyle.

But there are plenty of records that will not be approached, as they are reminders of the short but devastating era when technology got ahead of the swimmers. The plastic-suit era saw a wholesale rewriting of the record books and because it took two years before the suits were banned, half of today’s records date from 2008 and 2009.

We have the details in our Lane One commentary, plus full coverage of the FINA World Championships in Aquatics and much more:

= p. 5/Aquatics: Ashley Twichell takes gold for U.S. in Open Water 5 km!
= p. 13/Football: U.S. men reach Gold Cup semis, face Costa Rica on Saturday;
= p. 14/Cycling: Britain’s Chris Froome leads Tour de France with three stages left;
= p. 16/World Games: 31-sport, 222-event with 111 nations starts in Wroclaw!
= p. 17/Athletics: Usain Bolt’s last pre-World Champs tune-up in Monaco today!
= p. 21/Basketball: No. 1-ranked U.S. women’s U-19 starts World Champs in Italy;
= p. 21/Weightlifting: Pan American Champs starts in Miami!