Super Suits Ruined Swimming

James Magnussen should break a world record. He won't.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Australian swimmer James Magnussen clocked an amazing time in the men’s 100m freestyle at Australian Olympic swimming trails today but, sadly, will not likely ever achieve a world record thanks to the now banned super suits.

The 20-year-old is the probable favourite to win the event when the London Olympics kick off later this year and his time, 47.10 seconds, was just short of the world record held by Brazilian Cesar Cielo.

Magnussen’s time was so good that it was the fastest achieved since FINA ousted the super suit (Cielo's time features a supersuit asterisk).

That move came in 2010 when the sport’s governing body put an end to all the ridiculousness. The budgie smugglers returned for the men and the women were back to the shoulders-to-knee outfit.

Those polyurethane swimsuits put more than a few people off the sport during a time when it seemed like a world record was being broken every second day. At the 2009 FINA World Championships a lazy 43 world record were broken and from the time the suits hit the water in 2008, there were 255 world records broken. Think about that. It’s like the equivalent of somebody inventing a rocket shoe for basketballers.

The move that banned the super suit was a good one by FINA, but the records set in that two year dark period remain. That yellow record line that the swimmers chase in the pool won’t be needed for a while, and definitely not in London.

At least swimming has returned to what it once was and we can all get excited about seeing the best battle it out in the pool this July.