SHANGHAI: Swimming will try to bury the infamous super-suits era at the Shanghai world championships but a lack of new records will provide a constant reminder of the fiasco.
While polyurethane-clad swimmers broke a whopping 43 world records at the 2009 edition in Rome, astonishing even themselves, athletes clad in traditional gear may set only a couple – or none at all – in the Chinese metropolis.
The stark fact is that since the suits – designed to help buoyancy and support certain muscles, making it easier to swim faster for longer – were outlawed at the start of 2010, not one long-course record has fallen.
So how is technology affecting sports? We all know the benefits of shoes with better padding for running, stopwatches for accurate timings, equipment for increased safety, television for enhanced viewing and so on (simple list available here) But what happens when adoption of some of these technologies indirectly challenge the fairness, the spirit and ethic of the game?
The textile swimsuit is one example–a saga almost imaging the world of swim sport to the formula one where both man and machine, athlete and apparel, compete
What are your thoughts on technology playing an increasingly bigger role in sports today? How do we manage its role?