Mark Spitz may have a few sleepless nights if the Austrailan swim team has its way. Australian world champions Grant Hackett and Leisel Jones unveiled in Sydney Tuesday the new space-age swimwear they will compete in at the Beijing Olympics later this year. The Speedo LZR Racer suits are seamless and said to have five percent less drag in the pool than their predecessor launched a year ago. "It is the biggest evolution in the sport in terms of swimwear," Hackett told reporters at the launch.
The manufacturers worked with US space agency NASA, the Australian Institute of Sport and New Zealand 's University of Otago in the development of the suits. Hackett said the 2008 costume was a considerable improvement on previous suits as the manufacturer had taken on board more feedback from the athletes.
He said it was faster through the water than other materials used previously. "Yes, it is good they have used the athletes a lot more than they have with other suits and taken that technology forward, besides the fact that it is comfortable and flexible (enough) to perform in it," Hackett said. The suits have been approved by world swimming governing body FINA and must be made available to all competitors in Beijing in August.