Speedo or TYR? XTerra Wetsuits or Blueseventy? Arena or Diana? We have written about what the world's elite marathon swimmers wore at the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships (click here), but this is a difficult decision for everyone.
FINA is currently reviewing the procedures for swimwear approval, specifically in terms of the swimsuit material, thickness, use, shape and availability.
The swimwear manufacturers, FINA Technical Swimming Committee (whose members include Don Blew of Australia, Carol Zaleski of the USA, Soeren Korbo of Denmark, Ricardo Moura of Brazil, Javier Careaga of Mexico, Harold Cliff of Canada, Shigeo Ogata of Japan, Yuan Jiawei of China, Ben Ekumbo of Kenya, Michel Salles of France, Andrea Thielenhaus of Germany and Andriy Vlaskov of Ukraine), FINA Athletes Commission (whose members include Janet Evans of the USA, Alexander Popov of Russia, Gustavo Borges of Brazil, Penny Heyns of South Africa, Fernando Platas of Mexico, Luo Xuejuan of China, Miyako Tanaka of Japan, Irina Viguzova of Russia, Francesco Attolico of Italy, Karine Schuler of France, Daniel Kowalski of Australia and Attila Czene of Hungary), FINA Coaches Commission (whose members include Osvaldo Arsenio of Argentina, Leiff Carlsson of Sweden, Alan Thompson of Australia, Shaozhen Zhong of China, Juan Jane Giralt of Spain and John Leonard of the USA) and the FINA Legal Commission will meet in Lausanne, Switzerland on February 20, 2009.
The different commissions will discuss the current issues facing the sport and study eventual solutions for the future, together with independent experts. FINA will then take appropriate action in the FINA Bureau meeting from March 12-14, 2009 in Dubai (UAE).
The issue of swimwear approval is clearly a complex one and, to its credit, FINA is asking for collaboration from its stakeholders, so its final decisions can be globally accepted and understandable by the worldwide swimming community.
Upper photo by Javier Blazquez at the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships.