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German swimmers getting fast new suit for Beijing Olympics

The LZR Racer has triggered a wave of world records in the pool. Now German swimmers say they could be clad in an even better high-tech suit at the Beijing Olympics.
Adidas developed a new suit after complaints in Germany that the country was headed to an Olympic fiasco against the Speedo suit.
"This gives us courage," said Helge Meeuw, silver medalist from the Athens Olympics men's 4x100 meter relay team. "This product is on the same level and may be even better."
During the first two months after the LZR Racer's introduction, 22 world records were shattered. Japan's Kosuke Kitajima swam the latest record Sunday in the suit, touching at 2 minutes, 7.51 seconds in the men's 200 meter breaststroke.
Five prototypes for the new Adidas suit were tested in Monte Carlo. The final product will be ready at the end of June.
"We have no worries any more _ the weekend really was positive," Stefan Herbst, the 200 freestyler and team spokesman, said Sunday. "It's looking very, very good."
German swimmers wanted the right in April to switch to Speedo at the Aug. 8-24 games as record after record tumbled with the LZR Racer. The federation, however, has a four-year contract with Adidas.
"The German swimming federation has to seriously consider it, otherwise we will sink completely into mediocrity," said Thomas Rupprath, whose 50-meter backstroke world record was broken in the Speedo.
U.S. head coach Mark Schubert is an outspoken supporter of the Speedo and believes every record could fall in Beijing because of the suit.
Many swimmers _ some contractually bound to other sportswear companies _ argue that the Speedo is unfair and gives athletes added buoyancy in the pool. World governing swimming body FINA says no scientific evidence supports the claims and has refused to ban the LZR Racer.
The German team also ended a dispute Sunday over medal bonuses at the Olympics. Gold will bring euro15,000 (US$22,500), silver euro7,000 (US$10,600) and bronze euro4,000 (US$6,000).
"We feel positive as we look forward," swimming federation president Christa Thiel said. "Our athletes are headed to Beijing in good spirits under good conditions."


Updated : 2021-06-25 19:11 GMT+08:00