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Page last updated at 21:52 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 22:52 UK

US coach says no record is safe

Mark Schubert
Schubert says a US clean sweep in Beijing is a 'strong possibility'

The head coach of the US team believes almost all swimming world records will be broken at the 2008 Olympics.

Mark Schubert, who will be coaching at his eighth Olympics, forecasts a glut of records due to a combination of athletic excellence and technology.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see nearly every world record broken," he said.

Twenty-three new world records have been set since mid-February - most by swimmers wearing the new LZR Racer swimsuit made by Speedo.

One of Schubert's swimmers, Jessica Hardy, became the latest world record-breaker on Thursday, lowering the 50m breaststroke mark to 29.58 seconds at the World Short Course Championships at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

Italian coach Alberto Castagnetti has dubbed the LZR a form of "technological doping", but Schubert believes there is more to the current stream of record-breaking performances.

"I would never want to say it was just the suit, because it's not," he said.

Ian Wright, GB swimming coach
"It takes the person in the suit to break the record but this new suit is that much better than anything seen before.

"In our sport, we really have great and talented personalities. That, combined with the new technology, leaves a strong possibility that every world record will be wiped out."

Swimming's governing body, Fina, will meet suit manufacturers in Manchester on Saturday in a bid to clarify the impact of the new technology.

Schubert says he is not predicting a clean sweep for the US at Beijing's Olympic swimming events in August, but insists it remains a "strong possibility".

British swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who is wearing the LZR suit for the first time in Manchester, sliced 11 seconds off her lifetime best in the 800m freestyle on Thursday.

In an eight-minute long race, Adlington was just a quarter of a second away from earning the suit another world record.

see also
Tancock and Adlington set records
10 Apr 08 |  Swimming
Tancock races to new world record
02 Apr 08 |  Swimming
Records 'not down to swimsuits'
27 Mar 08 |  Swimming
Swimsuit technology under review
25 Mar 08 |  Swimming
Scientists invent speedy swimsuit
11 Mar 08 |  Nottinghamshire
Swimming on the BBC
02 Oct 07 |  Swimming

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