Suited for success (no idea what it was, something shiny), Ariana Kukors, of the USA, cracked out her first sub-2:10 200m medley to fall just 0.08sec shy of Stephanie Rice's world record, her 2:08.53 the fastest heats swim ever recorded and second-best time ever. Of course, the time shattered the championship record of 2:10.13 by Katie Hoff (USA) from the bygone era of Melbourne 2007.
Kukors was followded by three 2:09s and three 2:10s, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), on a European record of 2:09.11, Rice and Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) in the sub-2:10 club ahead of Hannah Miley (GBR), Julie Hjorth-Hansen (DEN), Julia Smith (USA) and Emily Seebohm (AUS) who was half a second up on world-record pace at 100m after backstroke.
Since suit makers heard of FINA's decision on suits and now that some have started to respond in predictable fashion with infantile denials that simply stack up, I've read some hogwash that talks of the natural progression of suits in the 80s, 90s and so into the 2000s, as though what we are seeing is perfectly normal. Time to stop, yon suit folks. We all know that no-one in world swimming believes those lines anymore. They are simply untrue. What has taken place since February 2008 is unprecedented - in a very big way indeed.
As in - the 200m medley women 2007 to 2009:
Rome 2009 heats:
Top 16 through: 2:08.53-2:13.47
Melbourne 2007 heats:
Top 16 through: 2:012.04-2:17.68