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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 12:05 GMT
Scientists invent speedy swimsuit
Swimsuit simulation
Swimmers wearing the suit have broken three world records so far
Specialist researchers at the University of Nottingham say they have developed one of the fastest swimsuits in the world.

Scientists at NASA tested the fabric using specialised computer modelling technique to track fluid flow.

Swimmers testing the new suit have so far broken three world records.

Dr Herve Morvan, lecturer in fluid mechanics, said: "We are taking cutting edge simulation technology as used in Formula 1."

Rocket science

The LZR racer suit, manufactured by Speedo, has up to 5% less drag in the water than a previous model produced last year.

Researchers scanned 400 athletes to identify areas of high friction on their bodies while in the water and position the low friction fabric accordingly.

Jess Sylvester, a swimmer who has been testing the new suit in Nottingham, said she felt "like a rocket" when she wore it.

"I feel fast just standing out of the pool in the suit.

"As soon as I hit the water I feel really fast, really streamlined and it just gives me confidence wearing it."

Dr Morvan said: "We focus on the aerodynamics of the swimmer in the pool."

Ms Sylvester added the suit was so tight that it stopped muscles "oscillating and vibrating" which caused drag and could slow swimmers down.

World records set with the new swimsuit include those by:

  • Australia's Eamon Sullivan, who shaved 0.08 seconds off Alexander Popov's record in the 50m freestyle
  • Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry who sliced 2/10th of a second off Hungarian Krisztina Egerzegi's record in the 200m backstroke
  • and American swimmer Natalie Coughlin who broke the 100m backstroke record in 59.21 seconds.

    Swimmer Jess Sylvester tries out the new swimsuit

    Swimsuit row hots up
    10 Aug 00 |  Swimming


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