Saturday, May 16, 2009

Those Dang Shiny Suits

It's getting really annoying, those shiny black or red suits. It doesn't take a genius to realize that Peirsol was wearing the ILLEGAL Arena X-Glide tonight. Was a great swim, great time, but don't they understand they can't wear it?

I was impressed also by Fred Bousquet tonight. Coming off a short break following his sub-21 at French trials, Bousquet swam another killer 50 Free. 21.33 was the tied for the 5th fastest time in history. Even with the whole suit arguement (blah, blah, blah), it was impressive.

Those two swims tie for my swim of the night (Phelps' 200 Free ran away with the award last night). Phelps was right where he needed to be in the 100 Back. I wrote down 53.5-53.8 would be good, and he was 53.79. Now hopefully he'll put on the big suit and give "Freddy Biscuits" a run for his money in the 100 Free tomorrow.

A couple of shoutouts: Eric Shanteau, for his best time in the 200 Breast - those Japanese and Brazilian guys who have been throwing down 2:08s need to watch out; Dagny Knutson for her incredible race with Katie Hoff in the 400 Free - the future of American sprinting is right on target.

A point of clarity: my position on the new suit technology. No, I don't like how all the suits hang over the amazing swims we've seen like a cloud. But what I hate even more is Craig Lord of going on about how undeserving these athletes are. He pretty much claims that athetes are wrong for using new, legal suit technology (not talking about the unapproved suits yet). One cannot take away the achievements of the athletes, because people can't just be lazy and put on a suit and drop 10 seconds; they are working hard. If FINA can't set regulations, it is the athlete's responsibility (if money is not a factor) to wear the best technology available.

That said, if a suit has not been approved, it should not be worn in competition. Alain Bernard was allowed to get away with it, and it has opened the door for the same thing with Yuliya Efimova, Ryosuke Irie, and now Aaron Peirsol. If it's not approved, don't wear it in competition. That simple.

Tomorrow: Peirsol's 200 Back will be sick. Like Phelps, he has returned to form more quickly than expected, and, especially if he wears the X-Glide again, I think he can swim 1:54-high in the 200 Back. Lochte, the American record holder, probably won't be much of a challenge, as he has been swimming in only the speedo and is obviously pretty beaten down at this point.

Anyway, things are looking good for American swimming.

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