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Speedo weighs swimmers' interest in other suits

Speedo weighs swimmers' interest in other suits

Speedo is discussing whether to allow swimmers it sponsors to wear rival manufacturers' new high-tech suits.
"The brand is continuing to evaluate the situation internally," Speedo vice president for marketing Craig Brommers said in a statement on Tuesday.
The introduction of Speedo's NASA-designed LZR Racer suit 16 months ago sparked a flood of world records. Now, other companies are making suits that swimmers believe might be even faster.
Last Monday, FINA approved modified versions of suits worn by Frenchmen Frederick Bousquet and Alain Bernard in unofficial record-breaking races. That means the previously banned Jaked 01 and Arena X-Glide suits can be worn at the U.S. championships next week.
Agent Evan Morgenstein represents many of the world's top swimmers, including Dara Torres and Aaron Peirsol. He said the perception in the swimming community seems to be that the new suits are better than the LZR.
Should their sponsors allow it, he said, swimmers will wear the brand they believe gives them the best shot at winning.
"If coaches truly believe the other suits are faster, it will be 100 percent," Morgenstein said.
Just a year ago, it was Speedo causing swimmers to rethink which brand they wore.
Nike let its swimmers wear the LZR last year, then later bowed out of the elite competitive swimsuit business. Japan's team also allowed its swimmers to wear the LZR at the Beijing Olympics, breaking its agreements with domestic swimsuit makers.
Drew Johnson, the agent for Speedo's most famous endorser, said he expected Michael Phelps would continue to use the LZR.
Even if Speedo does not give its long roster of elite swimmers the go-ahead to use other companies' suits, swimmers still could switch suits and risk the consequences. A fraction of a second might make all the difference at U.S. nationals, which will determine the American team for the world championships.
USA Swimming requires that for suits to be approved for use at nationals, manufacturers must guarantee the suits will be available to all competitors to prevent shortages. Both Jaked and Arena have made those assurances.


Updated : 2021-02-27 09:40 GMT+08:00