Japanese companies unveil high-tech swimsuits
Three Japanese sportswear manufacturers have launched high-tech swimsuits to compete with the new Speedo LZR Racer.
The swimsuits were introduced Friday by Mizuno Corp., Asics Corp. and Descente Ltd. in a presentation to the Japan Swimming Federation.
The federation has contracts requiring Japanese national team swimmers to wear suits made by domestic companies.
The Speedo LZR racer has made a huge splash, with 37 out of 41 world records set since February made by swimmers wearing the suit. In previous Olympic years, about five world records are typically set leading up to the Games.
Last month the Canadian men's 400-metre medley relay team wore the new suits at the CN Swimming Trials in Montreal and cut three full seconds off the Canadian record.
Critics of the suit claim that it makes swimmers more buoyant, but FINA, the international swimming governing body, has ruled that Speedo's design is legal. The group will meet on June 3 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to rule on the new competing suits.
Mizuno's new design uses materials that put pressure on the body, decreasing water resistance. Mizuno is the swimsuit supplier for Japanese Olympic breaststroke champion Kosuke Kitajima.
Descente unveiled three new designs, while Asics unveiled two, including one that triples the amount of pressure on the legs.
The new Japanese suits will be seen at the Japan Open in Tokyo from June 6-8.
Nike, Adidas, and Italian swimsuit manufacturer Diana are also working on designs to compete with the LZR Racer.
With files from the Associated Press