London: Team Great Britain swimmers would wear specially designed suits, designed by sportswear company Adidas, during the London Olympics that could give them as much as two percent advantage over their rivals.
Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe, who helped to test the swimsuits, said he believed they could make a difference.
“It might sound like a minimal advantage, but it could be significant,”
It remains the personal choice of British stars such as Rebecca Adlington if they want to wear the swimsuits by Adidas, or other brands with which they have endorsement contracts.
But Adidas claim up to 70 per cent of Britain’s swimmers will be wearing them and experts from the company’s 80-strong innovations department believe they could be the difference between gold and silver.
Udo Mueller, a spokesman for the Adidas innovations department, said: “We believe we have created a suit that will give all the swimmers who wear it a big advantage. We tested it against all our rivals and it absorbs 32 per cent less water than all the other manufacturers”.
“It is also incredibly light. In 2008 in Beijing, the suit [German swimmer] Britta Steffen wore to win two gold medals was 208g. The suit she will wear here in London is under 100g,” he added.
“In all we believe it could see a two per cent improvement in performance. We cannot be certain because it has never been tested in the Olympics. But in testing our swimmers were very impressed,” he said.
Mueller further said: “Because of the positioning of the seams, because of the material we use, because of what we call the hydrophobic finish and the way the compression aspects of the suit support the muscles, it gives the swimmers a better position in the water.”