Brenton Rickard (AUS) set a championship and Commonwealth record of 58.98 to become the third poly-suited man to dip under 59sec. Next through was Hugues Duboscq (FRA), on 59.01, and Eric Shanteau (USA), on 59.05, followed by Giedrius Titenis (LTU), 59.24, from a 2008 best of 1:00.11.
Techno-based swimming is a sport in which it is possible for a swimmer to break a world record that goes unnoticed for five weeks. Igor Borysik (UKR) was unable to wear the Jaked01 at his national champs in June because his federation stuck to FINA rules and did not allow any to wear a suit that was then banned. He won his national crown in 1:00.22. Two days later he whacked out a 58.67 "world record" and that is the standard that he and rivals must chase in Rome if they have an eye on the clock. The world record had stood to Kosuke Kitajima, at 58.91, from Beijing when he retained the Olympic crown. This morning, Borysik clocked 59.34 this morning in Rome. More to come.
There are problems everywhere you turn in swimming right now: that 59.01 that Duboscq sped to in an adidas Hydrofoil would be a European record, were it not for Borysik's time in a suit banned at the time he did it. The best we can say is that the Ukraine champion's standard is "pending". It may never be ratified, it should not, technically, be ratified but found its way on to the official Omega start list at these championships.
The 46.94sec effort of Alain Bernard that cannot count as a world record because he wore an X-Glide that had not been approved for use at the time the French Olympic champion raced is his official entry time in the solo 100m here in Rome.
A championship record of 27.41 fell to Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) at the 50m mark on his way to 59.45 a qualification.
The rush does not stop at the top, of course. See how deep the suits cut:
Rome 2009 heats:
Top 16 through: 58.98-1:00.05
Melbourne 2008 heats:
Top 16 through: 59.96-1:01.69