Irie’s suit rejected by swimming commission

Compiled From Kyodo, AP

Swimming’s world governing body FINA has not approved the swimsuit worn by Ryosuke Irie, who recently broke the men’s 200-meter backstroke world record, and will re-examine it after it is modified, his swimsuit maker Descente Ltd. said Wednesday.

The announcement came after FINA approved 202 of the 348 swimsuits from 21 manufacturers it reviewed, while saying 136 other swimsuits need to be modified as they do not fulfill the requirement stating that “swimsuit material shall not be constructed to or include elements/systems which create air/water trapping effects during use.”

Descente said it will resubmit the same swimsuit for FINA approval after modifying it within 30 days as requested by FINA.

“I am terribly sorry for all the trouble we have caused swimmers,” Descente president Etsuro Nakanishi said. “It’s disappointing for the moment, but we will modify the swimsuit as we try to help swimmers perform their best.”

Switzerland-based FINA also rejected 10 swimsuits for not passing the tests of buoyancy and/or thickness.

At the inaugural Canberra swimming meet between Japan and Australia on May 10, the 19-year-old Irie clocked 1 minute, 52.86 seconds in the 200-meter backstroke, 1.08 seconds off American Ryan Lochte’s mark at last year’s Beijing Olympics.

“I hope my time will eventually be approved as a world record. But no matter what the outcome is, I aim to set a world record and win a medal at the world championships this summer,” Irie said.

The approved list also did not include polyurethane suits worn by French freestylers Frederick Bousquet and Alain Bernard when they set unofficial world records last month.

Bousquet wore an Italian Jaked 01 model during the fastest men’s 50-meter free, and Bernard wore Arena’s X-Glide suit in the men’s 100.

Before the decision was handed down, Bousquet said he would abide by whatever FINA ruled. In fact, he’d already been in talks with another manufacturer in case the Jaked suit was banned.