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Chinese National Games: Flash! Liu Zige Shocks World With Astounding 200 Fly World Record -- October 21, 2009

JINAN, China, October 21. AT the Chinese Nationals Games held in Jinan, Liu Zige crushed the world record in the women's 200-meter fly over long course competition.

Liu posted a shocking time of 2:01.81, smashing Jessicah Schipper's world record of 2:03.41 set at the World Championships in Rome this year. Previously, Liu clocked a then world-record time of 2:04.18 to win the 200 fly gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. Jiao Liuyang took second today in 2:05.87, while Gong Jie placed third in 2:06.18.

Liu definitely front-halfed the race in comparison to Schipper's previous global mark. Liu was under world-record pace by two seconds at the 100-meter mark, before falling off the back-half pace Schipper posted.


Here are the comparative splits:
Liu: 27.19, 58.08 (30.89), 1:30.20 (32.12), 2:01.81 (31.61)
Schipper: 28.21, 1:00.25 (32.04), 1:32.23 (31.98), 2:03.41 (31.18)

The performance returned the world record to Liu. Here are the recent progressions of the world record:

200 fly
2:04.18 Liu Zige, CHN – Beijing 08-14-08
2:04.14p Mary DeScenza, USA – Rome 07-29-09
2:03.41 Jessicah Schipper, AUS – Rome 07-30-09
2:01.81 Liu Zige, CHN – Jinan 10-21-09

Notably, the 2:01.81 also significantly clears the world record over short course meters. Yuko Nakanishi holds that mark with a 2:03.12.

In other action, Ma Xiang set a national record in the men's 200-meter breast with a time of 2:12.37. The performance broke the Chinese record of 2:12.75 set by Xie Zhi earlier this year. Huang Chaosheng finished second in 2:12.67 with Xue Ruipeng placing third in 2:13.51.

Additionally, Huang Shaohua won the men's 100 free in 48.86, while Pang Jiaying topped the women's 100 free semis with a 53.98. Qi Hui also led the way in the women's 200 breast semis with a 2:24.78.


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October 21, 2009 Wow! That's a FAST time! 2:01 in the w200m Fly?!?! Way to go Liu Zige!! Seems like China is having a bit of a "resurgence" as of late! Perhaps hosting the Olympics has rekindled an interest in swimming!
Submitted by: Hodori88
October 21, 2009 All is perfect except some name errors. The host city is Jinan not Linan. Kong Jie should be Gong Jie.
Submitted by: tim
October 21, 2009 Is the men's record really 11 seconds slower than the women's record? It seems as if the men's record would have occurred in the 200m breast based on the time. Am I wrong or are the Chinese women really that far superior to the men?
Submitted by: breastroker59
October 21, 2009 Ma Xing swam breast not butterfly
Submitted by: alexandre
October 21, 2009 And Ma Xiang's 2:12.37 should be a NR in the men's 200 breast, not fly.
Submitted by: chris
October 21, 2009 Thanks for all the help, everyone!

I apologize for rushing the initial report up on the way into the office this morning.

Tracking down the splits right now, and have some info on the women's 200-meter free too.

Thanks again!
Submitted by: Jason Marsteller
October 21, 2009 btw, what's the current WR for the 200 fly (women) short-course? Looks to me that it's slower than 2:01.81?
Submitted by: chris
October 21, 2009 WR in short course belongs to Yuko Nakanishi 2.03,12 in february 2008
Submitted by: alexandre
October 21, 2009 One more correction: bronze medal winner Gong Jie's time was 2:06.18.

Some other notable results:
Pang Jiaying led the women's 100 free semi-finals at 53.98 (the only sub-54 swimmer).

Huang Xiaohua won the 100 free in 48.86.

Qi Hui led the women's 200 breast semi-finals at 2:24.78.



Submitted by: chris
October 21, 2009 Bronze medal winner Gong Jie's time should be 2:06.18.

Some other notable results:
Pang Jiaying swam a 53.98 100 free in semi-finals.

Qi Hui went 2:24.78 in the 200 breast semi-finals.

Huang Xiaohua won the men's 100 free in 48.86.
Submitted by: chris
October 21, 2009 Hi Chris, Huang Xiaohua -> Huang Shaohua
Submitted by: tim
October 21, 2009 Hi Chris,
one more correction: Huang Xiaohua -> Huang Shaohua
Submitted by: tim
October 21, 2009 Oh one more result: final of women's 4x200 free relay, featuring 5 PROVICIAL teams under 8 minutes:

(1) Shandong: 7:48.21
(2) Zhejiang: 7:50.92
(3) Shanghai: 7:51.74
(4) Beijing: 7:56.77
(5) Tianjin: 7:59.76

The fastest split came from Chen Qian (Shandong's 2nd leg 1:55.11); Yang Yu (Zhejiang's anchor leg 1:56.45) and Tang Yi (Shanghai's 2nd leg 1:56.78). Liu Jing's opening leg for Beijing was a swift 1:56.33, even faster than Yang Yu's winning time in the individual 200 free race yesterday.
Submitted by: chris
October 21, 2009 can we say East Germany?
Submitted by: swimhouston
October 21, 2009 2:01 ????? Completely stunned here. And she says she can go faster??????????
Submitted by: paddles
October 21, 2009 swimhouston,

I hope this is not the case, but it has all the same markers as East Germany did.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 21, 2009 ....this is insane.
she says the result isn't fast enough fro her, and isn't extraordinary when compared to the 100 fly she went (56.0)...could someone PLEASE step in at these games for once?? they are always ridiculous.
Submitted by: bt22
October 21, 2009 What strikes me as curious isn't as much the solo swims but the fact that so many of the provincial teams were under 8 minutes for the 800 relay. This is uncomfortably similar to the East German 1976 Olympic Trials when so many teams and swimmers were breaking the then world records in individual and relay events. We are talking about CLUB teams breaking the relay world records beyond the first place finishers. I don't know what to say. Wow.
Submitted by: paddles
October 21, 2009 I think one thing we are forgetting is how much space in the world rankings this meet ALWAYS takes up. You will see completely unheard of names with best times from "CHNOCT" on swimnews from 2001 and 2005. This meet will always be fast. I do agree that it is a bit ridiculous that a club relay goes 2 secs faster than the winning world champ relay 2 years ago. Especially since the fastest suits they can wear are the LZR and blueseventy.
Submitted by: David Rieder
October 21, 2009 Just in case some of you may have missed it, a few days ago the women's 4x100 free relay also provided some fast times, with 4 teams going under 3:40:

(1) Shanghai 3:35.81
(2) Zhejiang 3:38.65
(3) Liberation Army 3:39.25
(4) Liaoning 3:39.99

From the individual splits, however, it looks that all sub-54 splits are from relatively well-known names who have swum internationally at least for the past 2-3 years:

Tang Yi (Shanghai's 2nd leg 53.15)
Pang Jiaying (Shanghai's anchor leg 53.41)
Yang Yu (Zhejiang's anchor leg 53.30)
Li Zhesi (Liaoning's 2nd leg 53.63)
Submitted by: chris
October 21, 2009 WOW!!!

I just confirmed what David Rieder said in his comment - the fastest suit used is the LZR. That means that Liu Zige set that WR in the same suit that she originally set the WR at last year's Olympics, only 2.37 seconds FASTER. This is the same girls who only 18 months ago never went sub 2:08.

She's dropped 7 seconds in 1.5 years.

Compare that with Michael Phelps who in 9 years, has grown from boy to man and has "only" dropped 5 seconds in the same event.

Same thing with her 100 Fly. Best time from 2008 Chinese nationals (in April?) = 59.47. She drops to 56.07.

Just as the East Germans had a FAR more powerful women's team than the men, so goes with China.

Funny how it ONLY happens in China. I love how blatant they are - lol.

Ditto, bt22.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 21, 2009 Sadly, there is rumor going around that Zhou Ming (who is supposed to be serving a lifetime doping ban from coaching) is back on the deck at this meet.
Can anyone corraborate this?
All I have heard about this rumor, but if it's true, it's a disturbing factor adding to the speculation going on about this meet.
Submitted by: rcoach
October 22, 2009 The rumour is true. According to a Chinese website, Zhou Ming was sitting with other members of the Tianjin delegation, watching the swimming competitions and holding a stopwatch. His badge states that he is a "Vice Captain". After a Tianjin swimmer placed third in the men's 400IM during the first day of competition, a Chinese reporter interviewed the mother of the swimmer. She confirmed that Zhou was one of the several coaches responsible for her son's training. Other "swimmer parents" further confirmed Zhou's status as a coach. When the reporter approached Zhou for an interview, he turned down, saying that he's just an ordinary staff member of the delegation. According to inside sources, some swimmers under Zhou's coaching were involved in steroid scandals during the preliminaries (Tianjin round) of the National Games but the relevant authorities are yet to impose sanctions. And Zhou's profile is still posted at in the official website of the Tianjin Municipal Sports Bureau.
Submitted by: chris
October 22, 2009 You've GOT to be kidding me. Yeah.... this has East Germany written all over it. A 7 second drop in 1 1/2 years? Insane.
Submitted by: h2ochik
October 22, 2009 This is coming across like an "in your face" from the Chinese. Zhou was arrogant back in 1994 at the World Championships and this smacks of it all over again. Here we go again.....
Submitted by: paddles
October 22, 2009 I'm with paddles. When I first saw the comments, I thought folks were exaggerating too much, reading too much into one individual, but when I saw all those club relay times, I can understand the suspicions. suspicious. Then again US club swimmers blow off the relays at nationals, so we have nothing to compare it with. But I can't think of 3 U.S> clubs under 7:52.


Submitted by: liquidassets
October 22, 2009 Can someone please tell me about the excellent swimmer who won the 200 IM in rome in WR? Where is she from? What were her previous best times? Can the suit alone explain the time-drop? BTY, how many seconds did she drop??? I am appalled: if it is an American, fine.. if it is someone from another country: SUSPICIOUS......
Submitted by: nadador
October 22, 2009 nadador, I see what you're saying, but Ari's time drops were a long time coming, especially since she put on a new suit. Liu wore the same suit she wore in Beijing and the same suit she wore in Rome, and she is cutting huge time every time she races. Seems like it's a little bit different.

However, you are right that if this was an American meet no one would be talking about doping. Still, 7:48 on a club relay when 7:50 won the world title in 2007... ???
Submitted by: David Rieder
October 22, 2009 Before we start getting in the Anti-American sentiments, if FIVE American club teams at nationals were under 8 minutes for the 800 relay I would want to know what was going on (read suspicious). As for the Chinese, unfortunately their record speaks for itself. With Zhou on deck as a a coach after being banned, many many people worldwide are raising their eyebrows with a "What is HE doing there???? Wasn't he banned????" attitude.
Personally, this concerns me more than Liu Zige's world record.
Submitted by: paddles
October 22, 2009 Well nadador, Kukors dropped 4 seconds from LZR to Jaked, whereas Zige dropped 7.5 in the LZR alone, so that's not an equal comparison at all. With a Jaked she probably would have been under 2:00.

That said, as I said I was going to be OK with that, since it was one individual, but then it was the crazy relays that reminded me of the East Germans. I doubt you were around back then or you'd be at least suspicious too. It started in '73 in a post-Olympic year and all their clubs were going under WR's. Something's up. Whine all you want with your Anti-American nonsense. Somebody's gotta defend the sport, if it's Americans, so be it.
Submitted by: liquidassets
October 22, 2009 Thank you David Rieder. Swimming has become so crazy as of lately...I´m too trying to figure out how people crawl out (apparentelly) out of nowhere and drop times big-time...suit alone cannot explain it all (no matter who)..And how DO you compare times these days??? Gosh, MTM´s time stood serious attempts by the likes of Susan O´neill, Misty Hyman and others...and it is still a US OPEN record...
Submitted by: nadador
October 22, 2009 David Rieder, nadador,

"If this was an American meet". Wow, BIG "if". Where do I start. This would NOT happen at an American meet. There isn't an example of it ANYWHERE in American swimming history. I would challenge you to find 1, just one. Second of all, if this had happened in America, we would not hear the end of it from the rest of the world, since we know just how pro USA so many European countries are, etc. (joke here!).

I would equate the differences in time that Kukors was getting to 1 thing really - the suit. Did you see Kukors transitions from stroke to stroke - unparalleled by any other swimmer (e.g. the transition to breast in the final- woah, a second advantage right from the getgo!). There are SO many examples of substantially faster times due to the Jaked - did you see Worlds? Finally, the difference between Liu and Kukors is NOT a "little different" - it's VERY different.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 22, 2009 Nadador,

"I´m too trying to figure out how people crawl out (apparentelly) out of nowhere and drop times big-time...suit alone cannot explain it all"

Well said. The suit certainly isn't the factor in the case of Liu Zige, since she wore a LZR, unlike with Kukors who wore a Jaked which was like responsible for 3 of the 4 seconds dropped (take a look at transitions). Furthermore, Kukors has been around. Zige was a non-entity prior to 2008.

Yes, the answer is......(can you hear the drumroll).....DRUGS!

In the case of China, probably HGH. Ask yourself, where are the Chinese men? If the Chinese had such a great program, how come they only have 2 stars that are men, while the women have about 8. Hint: see East Germany.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 23, 2009 To mario2007 and people alike, many many thanks for flushing this post with "ridiculous", "drugs", "insane" kind of words, which sound nothing at all like sour grape and disrespect to swimmers who actually honestly achieve what they have achieved today.

There might be something fishy there, as I always suspect. But there are still many Chinese swimmers who have been very much self-disciplined, diligent and honest on their way to their achievement just as those well-known swimmers in the rest of the world. Taking Liu zige as an example, here is her improvement
2:01.81 October 2009
2:03.90 July 2009 (World Championship)
2:07.76 April 2008 (Olympic trials)
2:09.45 September 2007
2:12.13 May 2006
2:14.25 July 2005 (World Championship)
2:12.18 April 2005
I would not say it does not look solid or steady.

There are many things you and I don't quite know about the Chinese National Games. Athletes winning in the National Games can be rewarded, together with their coaches and provincial officials, much better than winning a world champion or even Olympic champion. So it is no wonder that the National Games are more valued than the world championship and Olympic games in China, and no wonder there is a lot interest-driven behind, be it dark or not. It is also a fact that for the whole country the science and technology in sports training still somehow lag behind the top contries of the world, and many atheletes only have a very short period in their whole sport lives to excel and then decline due to improper trainings.

The communications between outside and inside of China cannot be said very smooth. Lots of Chinese domestic competitions are not well reported to the world. For example, I have noticed that some claims that "xxx comes from nowhere" actually result from name errors or some ranking websites that only take the first one or two into account and ignoring the results of the rest swimmers. If you can read Chinese, it is not difficult to find quite a few Chinese websites discussing the good and bad sides about China's sports. If you cannot, I believe there are still some english websites that are more objective than most of their peers. Two days ago, when I did some google search about "Chen Yan", I happened to come across a blog I think has something worth to read http://china-athletics-swimming.blogspot.com/

All I want to say is don't rush to your judgement only based on incomplete or incorrect information, and respect other athletes in the world just as much as your own countries'.
Submitted by: tim
October 23, 2009 Sure tim, let's ignore the clear and oft repeated patterns we have seen from the Chinese, which don't happen with other swimming programs.

What really bugs me is the lack of oversight and the way they flaunt getting around the system.

The FACTS are pretty clear here, and frankly it's a little astonishing how persistently people want to time and again look the other way.

I would like to make clear that I don't blame the Chinese swimmers for what's happening here. They really don't have a choice as far as their careers are concerned. They are victims of the Chinese regime.

She dropped 7.6 seconds in 2 years, and all you have to say is "it does not look solid or steady". Man, that looks freakin' supernatural!

You know what they're thinking "Why did we ever 'ban' Zhou Ming?"
Submitted by: mario2007
October 23, 2009 WADA most certainly will be doing the drug testing. Chinese may have something that is undectable. Certainly will read the drug results sometime in the near future...
Submitted by: speedboat
October 23, 2009 China, and possibly other countries, may already be gene doping. It's way too expensive to detect, and according to a Sports Illustrated article from last year, a doc from Montreal who used to be involved says its all happening in China and he wouldn't doubt if they're already there.
Submitted by: liquidassets
October 24, 2009 The most recent website poll asks if you think this WR will last longer than Mary T. Meagher's WR did. It's such a funny question, since given the givens I would be surprised if it lasted more than 18 months, forget years.

Liu Zige will soon be swimming 1:59 - she's just that much better than Mary T., right?
Submitted by: mario2007
October 24, 2009 mario2007, it boggles the mind to think of Liu swimming a 1:59. You are right, it is going to happen....the question is when.
Submitted by: paddles
October 25, 2009 It is not a surprise if Zhou Ming is still coaching Tianjin provincial team. I think he has been coaching the team since last national games (4 years back). Yang Jieqiao, also from Tianjin province, who was the double champion (800/1500m free) in the last national games was coached by him. It is just that he is so brazen to appear in the pool deck now. In fact, it is possible the banned coach is still in the backseat remote-controlling the swimmers/athletes. The other famous example for this in China is Bai Xue, the newly crowned world champion in women's marathon. Her official coach is Zhu Fengling but a lot of people think her real coach is Zhu's husband, Wang Dexian who coached the 2004 Olympic women's 10,000m champion, Xing Huina and was life-banned after 2005.

Submitted by: Will
October 25, 2009 hi tim

I am the one who wrote http://china-athletics-swimming.blogspot.com/. I think no one is interested in it so I only update it when I feel like doing it. haha.
Submitted by: Will
October 25, 2009 Good work, Will. Keep up what you are doing. You don't know how valuable it can be.
Submitted by: tim
October 25, 2009 Tim is 100 correct, Will. We are reading what you give to us.
Submitted by: paddles
October 25, 2009 "Taking Liu zige as an example, here is her improvement
2:01.81 October 2009
2:03.90 July 2009 (World Championship)
2:07.76 April 2008 (Olympic trials)
2:09.45 September 2007
2:12.13 May 2006
2:14.25 July 2005 (World Championship)
2:12.18 April 2005 "

To add,

From 2:09.45 September 2007
Suit: Textile
To 2:07.76 April 2008 (Olympic trials)
Suit: Textile

An improvement of around 1.7 secs in 7 months, which isn't unusual.

From 2:07.76 April 2008 (Olympic trials)
Suit: Textile and not bodysuit. Most likely not fully tapered.
To 2:04.18 August 2008 (Olympics)
Suit: LZR, considered the fastest body suit at that time

An improvement of 3.36 seconds in four months, which isn't unprecedented going by results only. Most importantly, transition from textile to LZR bodysuit.

From 2:04.18 August 2008 (Olympics)
Suit: LZR
To 2:03.90 July 2009 (World Championship)
Suit: LZR
To 2:01.81 October 2009
Suit: LZR

An improvement of around 2.4 secs in a year, which also isn't unprecedented.

Anyway, it'll be back to textile in 2010.

For women's 4x200m relay, most of the top splits came from the quartet who won at 2009 Rome Worlds and they swam slower than at Worlds. Chen Qian, with the fastest split of 1:55, already did a 4:02 in 400m free (previous PB of 4:06) so her split wasn't really that unexpected.

Not to say I know for sure supplements weren't used at this meet of course.




Submitted by: spw
October 25, 2009 liquid,
Interesting you mention gene doping.
Remember these terms:
Mitochonrdrial manipulation (not sure I spelled that right)
Myostatin Mutation
Unfortunately two very real problems that may be ready to raise their ugly heads in the world of sports (not just swimming). Not doping in the traditional sense of the word and will never show up in a traditional drug test. But in some senses a more dangerous and insidious problem because this really does start to have doctors trying to play God for the need for the accolades of sports.
Let's hope we never get to this point, but it wouldn't surprise me if we have already started to travel down this path.

Submitted by: rcoach
October 25, 2009 rcoach: You did spell it right. Have you read the SI article re: gene doping? If not, check it out, a doc from Montreal claims to know of athletes who are already experimenting with it. Scary stuff:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/magazine/03/11/steroids.future/index.html
Submitted by: liquidassets
October 25, 2009 spw,

the accumulated improvements in a matter of less than 5 years when you're already world class - that is ABSOLUTELY unprecedented.

You are not going to find that in ANY other squad, but you will find it in multiple cases with the Chinese, and you will find it at multiple points throughout the last decade and a half. To top it off, you WON'T find it in the Chinese men throughout that same time period. What you will find is doping abuses on multiple occasions and you will find the women front and center each time (= East German pattern).

Then there's the situation with Zhou Ming and Wang Dexian, which I'm glad Will brought up.

The reason so many in the West don't want to believe it is because we cannot conceive the extremes to which Communist regimes will go in the pursuit of exalting the state. Human rights have never meant much in these regimes - this is a fact proven time and time again. I can get into more detail about this, stuff that would make Westerners bug out, but you can also find this out for yourself with some research.

I would like to once bring to front center stage the example of Michael Phelps:

age 15: 1:56.50 - 200m Fly (textile)
age 24: 1:51.51 - 200m Fly (LZR)

5 seconds in 9 years

vs.

10+ seconds in 4.5 years (and she claims she could have gone faster; take that comment versus her comment after winning the gold medal in Beijing - she was shocked to have won - of course she was, nobody drops time like that!).

Get a grip people! Stop ignoring the pink elephant in the room.

BTW, do you work for the Chinese ministry of sport spw?
Submitted by: mario2007
October 26, 2009 liquid,
No, I have not read the article, but I am definitely going to check it out. Thanks for the link.
From what I have learned about mitochondrial alteration the athletes don't develop the 'ripped' look that most swimmers have, but appear slightly softer in tone and that 'look' is what is being questioned in their younger looking swimmers who quietly throw out world ranked swims at a younger age (remember to check out consol results as some of these kids in the past at this meet were not allowed to swim in the high profile finals and can be missed--and then look at their ages--I haven't seen results for this meet yet, so not sure about it this year).
But then again, it could just be younger swimmers who have not deveolped out of the "baby fat" years right? Problem is, since you can't test for it, so it's pure speculation that it is being done and no way to prove it, so we really can't point fingers at all or be accusatory.
Most posters seem to agree that they 'think' something is fishy, but we do operate on the basis of innocent until proven guilty.
The myostatin mutation is just downright scary. Needless to say, that is a place I hope we never go and I would be surprised if any athletes in the world are dabbling in that....yet.
Sadly, there is always a Dr. Balco or Zhou Ming type out there willing to try.

Submitted by: rcoach
October 26, 2009 mario2007,

Going by results only, let's check the rise to the top for Jessicah Schipper, her closest competitor in the same event. She went from a textile 2:16.85 in 2001 to a textile 2:05.65 in 2005, i.e. an accumulated improvement of more than 11 secs in around 4 years. Note, I don't doubt Jessicah's improvements.

Zhou Ming and Wang Dexian (track) don't coach Zige.

Perhaps, she really believed she could have gone faster and she was genuinely surprised by her gold medal in Beijing ? They don't necessarily contradict each other.

Pink elephants, do you see them often ?

I don't.

Submitted by: spw
October 26, 2009 Just to keep things in perspective along the lines that spw is laying down, the three female swimmers who literally smashed through what we thought possible were Meagher with her 57.9/2:05 100/200 fly from 1981...Janet Evans with her 4:03 400 fee in 1988 and de Bruin's 56.6 100 fly from 2000. No one doubted the authenticity of their performances. Maybe Zige truly did something phenomenal which took everyone by surprise. I can have my doubts and suspicions but no proof and still not be naive enough to bury my head in the sand and ignore the past with the Chinese. It is only natural to doubt their world record performances but maybe (just maybe) Zige's 2:01 was on the same once in a lifetime levels as Evans' 4:03 and Meagher's 57.9.
Submitted by: paddles
October 26, 2009 Paddles I was too, because it was just one swimmer, except then I saw all the crazy club relay times; what did you make of that?
Submitted by: liquidassets
October 26, 2009 paddles, I respect your right to doubt, No one can say things for sure until convincing evidence is provided.

True that no one doubted Americans Mary Meagher and Janet Evans, just as how easily and quickly they could forgive Jessica Hardy and Jenny Thompson and let go of Amy Van Dyken from BALCO steroid scandal. This was not the case for Inge de Bruijn.

Quoted from http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/22/sports/olympics-new-olympic-doping-accusations-cast-shadow.html?pagewanted=2

"The skepticism is already roiling around a Dutch swimmer, Inge de Bruijn, who has tied or broken seven world records since late May. Suspicions have been particularly aroused by her record of 56.69 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly, a stunning 1.19 seconds below the world record formerly held by the American Jenny Thompson in a race where standards are usually set by hundredths of a second.

Don Talbot, coach of the Australian swim team, told reporters in Australia: ''It's an unfortunate fact of life now that anybody that swims fast, makes big improvements, immediately comes under suspicion. It's really sad, because good athletes should be able to glory in their wins and not be criticized for them.''

De Bruijn has said that her improvements had come by ''training like an animal,'' not through performance-enhancing drugs. Her supporters believe that her neck-to-toe bodysuits can increase speeds significantly. Paul Bergen, the respected American coach who works with de Bruijn in Portland, Ore., said that some of the reflexive skepticism about swimmers ''is out of legitimate concern, but now it's almost gotten to the point of sour grapes.''

''For someone to suspect that I would be coaching using the method of cheating bothers me,'' Bergen said. ''But it's almost like the more you say she's clean as a whistle, the more you keep drumming up controversy. We'll take her training to Sydney and see who wins and loses. They can do all the pre-complaining they want. She made a major lifestyle change coming to this country, killing herself in the weight room, changing her stroke, giving up her family and boyfriend to do this for two and a half years. But it's almost like, 'oh, she cheated,' instead of recognizing her hard work.''"
Submitted by: tim
October 26, 2009 I respect everyone's right to doubt, I also agree that no one can say things for sure. I like what rcoach said "we do operate on the basis of innocent until proven guilty".

In my opinion, spw is more rational than mario2007. Shouting here doping all the time is not that useful if you really want to prove you are right about your suspicion.

True that no one doubted Americans Mary Meagher and Janet Evans, and don't forget that how easily and quickly people could forgive Americans Jessica Hardy and Jenny Thompson and let go of Amy Van Dyken from BALCO steroid scandal. But this was not the case for Inge de Bruijn from Netherland.

Quoted from http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/22/sports/olympics-new-olympic-doping-accusations-cast-shadow.html?pagewanted=2

"The skepticism is already roiling around a Dutch swimmer, Inge de Bruijn, who has tied or broken seven world records since late May. Suspicions have been particularly aroused by her record of 56.69 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly, a stunning 1.19 seconds below the world record formerly held by the American Jenny Thompson in a race where standards are usually set by hundredths of a second.

Don Talbot, coach of the Australian swim team, told reporters in Australia: ''It's an unfortunate fact of life now that anybody that swims fast, makes big improvements, immediately comes under suspicion. It's really sad, because good athletes should be able to glory in their wins and not be criticized for them.''

De Bruijn has said that her improvements had come by ''training like an animal,'' not through performance-enhancing drugs. Her supporters believe that her neck-to-toe bodysuits can increase speeds significantly. Paul Bergen, the respected American coach who works with de Bruijn in Portland, Ore., said that some of the reflexive skepticism about swimmers ''is out of legitimate concern, but now it's almost gotten to the point of sour grapes.''

''For someone to suspect that I would be coaching using the method of cheating bothers me,'' Bergen said. ''But it's almost like the more you say she's clean as a whistle, the more you keep drumming up controversy. We'll take her training to Sydney and see who wins and loses. They can do all the pre-complaining they want. She made a major lifestyle change coming to this country, killing herself in the weight room, changing her stroke, giving up her family and boyfriend to do this for two and a half years. But it's almost like, 'oh, she cheated,' instead of recognizing her hard work.''"
Submitted by: tim
October 26, 2009 Sorry, met some system errors. Didn't intend to double post. If possible, delete my first one. Thanks!
Submitted by: tim
October 26, 2009 Tim, I think that a lot of people (me included) sometimes jump to conclusions without taking a deep breath and stepping back LOOKING for evidence rather than accusing. It is unfortunate that this is the way it is....So many wasted years with the DDR cheating followed with the 1990s Chinese scandals. It takes a while for performances like Zige's 2:01 to settle in....And because of the memories from the 1970s into the beginning of the 1990s with the East Germans...well, bad memories are hard to let go of. But we do let go and we move on.
If there are new cheating methods going on, then it is up to us in the swimming community to stay alert and focused to prevent the "bad old days" from returning. This board works miracles and keeps the powers that be on their toes. Even with the arguing and confrontations that goes on here, we are all working for one common goal and that is to keep our sport clean and still fast.
Submitted by: paddles
October 26, 2009 tim,

Once again, I like how you muddle the facts, but Americans Mary Meagher, Janet Evans, and Jenny Thompson were never involded in BALCO or any other steroids/drugs scandal, and Jessica Hardy was cleared. Don't know about Amy Van Dyken, but none of these girls had drastic drops in time as is usually evident in drug use cases.

On the other hand Inge de Bruijn's time drops were pretty considerable after her "comeback" - we're talking in the 3 second range over 100 meters. She also produced the type of body with muscular definition that was not found in any of her other competitors. And don't tell me it's because she "trained better" than her competitors - that's not a result of training, because they all incorporated weight training in their regimen.

On the other hand, no positive drug test results and really no history in that program with positive drug tests.

To spw,

Jessica Schipper was 14 years old when she swam that time in 2001 - that's hardly a fair assessment. On the other hand, she did swim a 2:12.28 at the age of 16.

Schipper
age 16 - 2:12.28
age 20 - 2:05.40 (to be fair, in a LZR she could probably squeeze out a 2:04)


Liu
age 16 - 2:12.18
age 20 - 2:01.81

so presumably 8 seconds to presumably 11 seconds and counting. That's the closest anyone gets. And you can be sure Schipper has reached her peak, whereas Liu has skyrocketed particularly in the last 18 months. To put this in more perspective, take a look at the historical progression of the top flyers in the sport over the years:

http://www.swimnews.com/News/view/7273

There isn't a smoking gun here, but there are undoubtedly many markers, which can't be said the other way around.

Furthermore, I never said that she was coached by either of those 2 coaches. I said that there is a pattern here. Just as Zhou Ming isn't officially her coach, neither was Wang Dexian "officially" Bai Xue's coach in track and field.

Maybe that analogy is clearer now?


paddles,

I wish it were just "bad memories", but the fact is that throughout the entire 70s and 80s, the East German sports program rarely if ever produced a positive drug test, and certainly the technology then was not as advanced as what is now being employed to avoid detection.

The total domination of the Chinese women's squad at the World Championships in Rome 94 was the culmination of 6 years of dramatic across the board systematic improvements with all the telltale signs of cheating with the use of performance enhancing drugs. This, of course, continued for several years thereafter - so we're talking about nearly a decade of bad memories. The same pattern is repeating now. It would be naive at best to chalk this up to bad memories.

Read more here:
http://www.swimnetwork.com/blogs/blog/20090730/the_controversies_of_rome___1994_vs__2009-2584.html
Submitted by: mario2007
October 26, 2009 Sorry, I drop Jenny Thompson from what I was saying. Other than that, I am still with my previous stand.
Submitted by: tim
October 26, 2009 Not the one twisted by mario2007.
Submitted by: tim
October 26, 2009 Hi Mario-
I am VERY grateful that you are doing the work that you are doing by being aggressive with your findings and thoughts and opinions.
I don't mean to downplay what happened with the DDR cheating as I would never do that. The differences between then and now is that nobody wanted to speak up back in the day. Sure, there were LOTS of whisperings because of athletes who came out of no where breaking world records and even more suspicions with the bodies that the East German women were exhibiting through the swimsuits. Not a lot of people realized to what extent this nightmare was going on. Who would have thought that an entire government would be behind this atrocity? Even with all of their gold medals and world records, they still lost in the real game of life and not just in the sporting world.
Here's something to ponder...Look at the results from the 1986 World Championships in Madrid. You will notice that not one of the swimmers who medaled at the 1988 Olympics two short years later (from China) were at those World Championships! Where were they???? I can't figure that one out. I can see if maybe one or two didn't compete because they weren't good enough to make the Chinese team, but all of them? There were four medalists and two more who made finals (at Seoul) and not one of these swimmers were in Madrid.
I appreciate your passion, Mario. Don't stop.
Submitted by: paddles
October 26, 2009 Sorry to repeat myself, but I think we must go back to the suits, and think of it differently, as an excuse: It may be the case that a lot more people (forget the Chinese, and think globally) are using undetecded doping, and disguising this fact by using "the suit" card.

I am all for new technologies, but almost 200 WR (and counting) just because of it?? Odd. Strange.

And, again, people crawling from nowhere and dropping times big time?? "the suit"?!?

Well, I am a swimmer, and "the suit" didn´t make me a WR holder (I wish)..at most, I dropped a few hundredths (wich would have happened anyway, just by way of better trainning, racing, start, transitions, etc.)
Submitted by: nadador
October 26, 2009 Sorry to repeat myself, but I think we must go back to the suits, and think of it differently, as an excuse: It may be the case that a lot more people (forget the Chinese, and think globally) are using undetecded doping, and disguising this fact by using "the suit" card.

I am all for new technologies, but almost 200 WR (and counting) just because of it?? Odd. Strange.

And, again, people crawling from nowhere and dropping times big time?? "the suit"?!?

Well, I am a swimmer, and "the suit" didn´t make me a WR holder (I wish)..at most, I dropped a few hundredths (wich would have happened anyway, just by way of better trainning, racing, start, transitions, etc.)
Submitted by: nadador
October 26, 2009 Nadador,

I would agree with you, I don't think the Chinese are the only ones cheating, but I do think they do it on a grander scale and history proven that.

On the other hand, the 200 WR really can be chalked up to the suits. Everyone's times dropped with those suits. All the swimmers will tell you that they are faster in the suits, and scientific tests have also proven this to be the case.

Of course, putting on the suit won't make you break a WR (lol), but it certainly was a major aide for elite swimmers whose best times were already near WR performances.

tim, I would like to point out that both Mary Meagher (to a less degree) and Janet Evans (certainly) were "victims" of the girl to woman body transition (I swear I couldn't think of a better way of putting this!). They each swam their best times prior to their 18th birthday. It was pretty apparent with Janet Evans. Once she turned 19 her times gradually decreased. I think she grew like 4 inches and the physics of her technique couldn't handle it (I don't think she swam a sub 4:07 400 free after age 19, but it might be wrong).

BTW, did you read the article on Swimnetwork. It was more revealing than I even knew.

Paddles, I do think that even today, just like back then (and in a sense worse since we have the advantage of hindsight), a lot of people still don't want to speak up. I mean look at the resistance expressed in this column.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 27, 2009 I think I posted this sentiment before a long time ago. But it seems relevent again now.
The bottom line here is that we can speculate all we want, but until we can prove an athlete or program dirty, then that's all it is--speculation.
How do we do that?
VERY tough question.
The problem here is that, at the current time we are using doping tests which for the most part are 30 plus years old in their ability and scope to detect doping.
The science of cheating and doctors who dabble in this with athletes is way out in front on how do effectively dope undetected.
And what is really sad is that we DO have the technology to catch EVERY doping cheat in sports. The problem is -- it's not cost effective.
Think of this. If you become violently ill and have to be taken to a major hospital, pretty much anywhere in the world, they have to be able to conduct tests on you of a wide range to know EXACTLY what's in your body or what's wrong with you so they can save your life. High level dope tests (including molecular and cellular scans) are administered probably thousands of times a day, every day, all over the world.
It's just not done on athletes.
The reason, because the cost per athlete is not worth it to major sporting bodies and can't be covered financially. So the cheaters can just use the science that is already out there and stay way out in front.
I would dare say that even genetic testing can be discovered with the proper medical markers in place to show irregularities in a person's body.
Did the suits cover something up? Maybe.
Are these results from this meet seeming a bit odd. Maybe.
The problem is in the proving. Bring testing into the 21st century and it creates a condition that will give some pause to to reconsider trying to dope.
Keep testing in 1976 and everyone in sports gets a free pass and we all just have to sit back and speculate on blog posts.
Submitted by: rcoach
October 27, 2009 It might also be of note everyone to remember that this girl that broke the WR in the 200 Fly which everyone is questioning so much has been training in Aussie land with Jessica Schipper and her coach. I don't know how much time she is spending there, but would be interested to find out.
Kind of hard to point a finger if it turns out she has been there for a significant amount of time. Not exactly an obscure Chinese training center hidden away in the mountains that no one knew about that she popped out from.
Might be nice to hear about her training there too as I doubt anyone here would be too interested in pointing a finger toward Australia and discussing a doping problem there.
Anyone know how much she trains there?
Maybe a little freedom in the land down under got her training ethic up??

Submitted by: rcoach
October 27, 2009 Ok, let's compare using year and age.

Jessicah

2006 2:05.40 age 20
2005 2:05.65 age 19
2004 2:09.11 age 18
2003 2:10.90 age 17
2002 2:12.28 ?? age 16 ( where did you get this 2:12.28 from ? It's not on the world rankings at swimnews.com )
2001 2:16.85 age 14 ? (according to you)

Zige

2009 2:01.81 age 20
2008 2:04.18 age 19
2007 2:09.45 age 18
2006 2:12.13 age 17
2005 2:12.18 age 16
2004 2:13.28 age 15 or 14 ?

So in around six years, Jessicah improved 11.45 seconds whilst Zige improved 11.47 seconds.

Even if we choose to ignore that swim from age 14/15, I supposed you can agree their times were at least comparable from 16 to 19 since you've said Jessicah could've squeezed a 2:04 from a LZR. What's left is a 2.2 seconds improvement at the age of 20, which isn't unusual at that age. Jessicah appeared to have hit a plateau from 2006 but was able to progress another 2 secs this year - how much of it from Hydrofoil is unknown. Zige doesn't appear to stagnate at 20, but is there a rule she must ?


From the link in your post, http://www.swimnews.com/News/view/7273

"That said, Liu Zige is described by some leading coaching figures beyond China as having been very well coached - and at home by the same coach for the past 9 years - and as sporting a superb technique (one coach says "the best I have ever seen), while her turns into the wall and reaction at the wall are something to behold. She was out in 58-plus and she believes we have yet to see the best of her. "

Possibly, the above are reasons why she's avoiding the plateau at 20.


Will mentioned Bai Xue's coach is Wang Dexian's wife and it's possible Zhou Ming might have "remote-controlled the swimmers" from Tianjin province for two China national games. May I know how you reach your conclusion/speculation on the relationship between Liu Zige and Zhou Ming/Wang Dexian ?


Submitted by: spw
October 27, 2009 mario2007,


"I mean look at the resistance expressed in this column."

I only "resist" to help a defenseless individual against public accusations (without conclusive evidence), defenseless due to language barrier etc. Can certainly understand your passion to defend human rights and fairness, and it's admirable, but my suggesion is to write to their swimmming/sports association before starting the accusations.

Submitted by: spw
October 27, 2009 Hi spw

I guess there is no (direct/indirect) relation between Liu Zige and Wang Dexian/Zhou Ming. Actually, some forum people here discussed Zhou Ming in the previous post before mine so I just joined and gave my comments saying Zhou did coaching job in Tianjin team while Wang Dexian did his for Bai Xue when both coach are banned. I mentioned Wang because Wang's and Zhou's case look like an analog to me.

I think Liu Zige has been coached under Jin Wei since day 1 at professional level and Liu is registered under Shanghai team (not Tianjin team) for competiting at national level.

Maybe I post in the wrong place. Sorry if I made you confused.
Submitted by: Will
October 27, 2009 Some extra info that I just digged out about Liu Zige and her coach (Jin Wei):

Jin was a coach at Australia's MBL club during 1991-1994, working under Ken Wood. During Jan - Mar 2007, Jin Wei had brought Liu Zige to Australia for a two-month training camp. Liu had gone to Australia for training once during 2003 too.

It was because of this "Australia" background that after Liu's Olympic victory last year, there were rumours that Ken Wood had sold his coaching secrets to China that's why Liu could defeat Jessicah Schipper. Both Jin Wei and Ken Wood denied this already though.

Liu also went to Australia for training in early 2009, and even swam at Australia World Championship Trials.
Submitted by: chris
October 27, 2009 What coaching "secrets" could someone sell that we don't all ready know?????
Submitted by: paddles
October 27, 2009 Yes, Liu Zige went to Australia in early 2009, mainly to avoid the frequent exposure to the domestic media and find a place to focus on training again after the Olympics. She was reported to train with Dennis Cotterell without her own coach Jin Wei on distance freestyle, in order to develop more swimming endurance and strength for a better comeback to butterfly. Soon she went back to her coach Jin in China to train for 200m bufferfly in the world championship and after that her coach added 100m bufferfly to her training routine for the National Games. So far it seems work quite well.

The Aussie background of several Chinese swimmers has been over-stressed because someone just cannot understand how the Chinese can make such big improvement mainly by themselves. They need to find reasons to convince themselves. Nonetheless the international collaboration has benefit Chinese swimming quite a lot.

It is interesting that United States is not mentioned in one of today's news "Overseas coaches set to lift China on international stage" (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/2009-10/27/content_8855612.htm). This does not mean that there will still be little communication between the two countries. It just says so much about how difficult some Americans are to reach. By the way China Daily is another website you can know more about Chinese swimming.


Submitted by: tim
October 27, 2009 During her stay in Australia early this year, Ken Wood already foresaw an even more formidable world-record performance from Liu in Rome. See "Chinese star gives Schipper the slip" by Nicole Jeffery (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25168471-5013406,00.html).
Submitted by: tim
October 27, 2009 spw,

Several things:

I never publically accused an INDIVIDUAL. I was very clear that I do not blame any Chinese athlete - they are under constraint to perform unlike anything we're used to. I do publically accuse the Chinese sports program - they have EXTENSIVE experience with regards to using PEDs to cheat and have done so on a considerable scale, which other sports programs wouldn't even tolerate. It's the communist ethic. Make no mistake.

I would reiterate what paddles said as well:
What coaching "secrets" could someone sell that we don't all ready know??

Going on, what I would point to is how practically uniform Liu's times and Schipper's times are for the same corresponding ages - up until they reach 18 years old (2007 for Liu, 2004 for Schipper). Then Liu makes a drastic drop of 7.64 seconds to Schipper's 3.71 (impressive in it's own right). Schipper only swam the 2:03.41, because she was aided by the Jaked, otherwise she is a 2:04 swimmer at best. You put Liu in a Jaked and she would drop a 1:59 high. To be 3.5 seconds faster than anyone else, especially so many athletes who have been training longer than her, not even Phelps has ever been that good.

Also, it is and has been well known that Chinese technique is not something they are known for. They muscle their strokes more than just about anyone. So when a Chinese coach says she has "superb" technique - no kidding, really? It's all about braggadocio and saving face with the Chinese. So no surprise here, it's actually what I would expect to hear.

tim, there is no free press in China. What you'll find on that website is what the party line wants to spout. No credibility there.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 27, 2009 Mario2007 you were formidable opponent of mine on the Jeff Commings issue, with which I still disagree with some of your points, but I think we exhausted all our arguments, lol. But this time I am for the most part on your side, mainly because I haven't heard convincing arguments from the other side. Even if we can't prove anything, it is up to swim fans, coaches and swimmers to keep the pressure on and keep asking questions until we are satisfied with the answers.

Somebody on here mentioned that the Chinese National Games are more prestigious for the Chinese than the Olympics are. But I also wonder whether they were subject to the same level/quality of testing at this meet than the international meets. Does anybody know? And do the results become known?

The recent ridiculous relay times made me wonder for the first time since the 90's debacle about more systematic doping, either team-wide or nationally. Liu's time makes me wonder about isolated experimentation with gene doping or other new methods of performance enhancement. Taken together, it's hard not to be suspicious. People suspect the U.S. and Australia less because they are liberal about allowing foreign athletes to train with them and learn their methods. Perhaps people would suspect the Chinese less if their secretiveness didn't mirror the considerable closed society influence of their communism.

It would be interesting to have a couple dozen non-Chinese athletes train at various places in China and then report on what they saw; but that seems unlikely to happen. I honestly would love to be wrong on this issue; if the Chinese have some superior training/nutritional/psychological or other methods, it would be great for all of swimming to hear about them. If that were the case; it would be understandable that China would produce alot of great swimmers given their large population. I'd also like to hear if anyone has a more rational explanation for why their women have always fared much better than the men; the men are catching up recently, but it's still not even and it's a definite pattern.

I would like to see Swimming World ask Phil Whitten what his opinion is on this situation. I don't think there are enough Chinese college coaches or swimmers in the U.S. for it to be a conflict of interest for him to weigh in on the issue. He is usually rational in his opinions and he has usually been right in the past. In lieu of, or in addition to that, would like to see the current SwimWorld editors weigh in as well. Thank you.
Submitted by: liquidassets
October 27, 2009 liquidassets,

I said "the National Games are more valued than the world championship and Olympic games in China." "valued", which means important, as I stated especially in financial side. It is not prestigious unless in your dictionary they have the same meaning.

The testing is officially reported to be at the same level as last year's Beijing Olympics. I believe Chris will follow in as soon as there is any positive case coming up and if he is still the Swimming World Chinese correspondent and translator.

As to "relay times", I admit I am not 100% for sure if there is no drug behind as for Liu Zige's case, but what spw said is worth to repeat:
"For women's 4x200m relay, most of the top splits came from the quartet who won at 2009 Rome Worlds and they swam slower than at Worlds. Chen Qian, with the fastest split of 1:55, already did a 4:02 in 400m free (previous PB of 4:06) so her split wasn't really that unexpected."


Submitted by: tim
October 27, 2009 Twisting my words is unappreciated. Thank you!
Submitted by: tim
October 27, 2009 Tim; OK point taken, but aside from that, changing prestigious to valued, doesn't bolster your argument much or change mine. The more valued or prestigious the competition is (sounds like financial rewards from what you wrote?) the more temptation to cheat; that's the history of most modern sports, unfortunately.

As for the relay swims, to clarify, I was commenting not just on the winning relay, but on the top 5 club relays listed by Chris:

(1) Shandong: 7:48.21
(2) Zhejiang: 7:50.92
(3) Shanghai: 7:51.74
(4) Beijing: 7:56.77
(5) Tianjin: 7:59.76

That's roughly 20 swimmers under 2:00 and 12 at 1:57+ or faster in LZRs only, no rubber suits, and thats just the top 5, there may have been other individual swims that fast or faster in lower placing relays. Where was that depth coming from suddenly?? That's what gives me pause, even more than Liu's swim.
Submitted by: liquidassets
October 27, 2009 I don't like playing word games because I am not good at it. But I don't want to be misunderstood either.

I hate to repeat: my point is shouting someone is using drugs without convincing evidence is sour grape and showing your disrespect. If you believe you can convince any level of sports or anti-doping organization, even the editors of Swimming World Magazine, I am totally behind you!

Given they are split times of a relay, yes, I tend to think under 2:00, at 1:57+ or faster is not very unusual.
Submitted by: tim
October 27, 2009 Liquidassets,

I agree, peace be unto Jeff!

I don't know if you were alluding to the swimnetwork article, but I can pretty much guess what Phil Witten has to think about this entire topic. That article was very revealing, not only about violations and how long they were ongoing, but also about the attitude of the international community even after the drug cheats were revealed. I guess they don't want to rattle the Chinese tiger, seeing as it is the next super-power to be and all. Funny how when it comes to the USA (an ally) they're all ready to pounce, but when it comes to a major human rights violator it's kids gloves time. It's like good is bad and bad is good.

As far as SwimWorld editors getting into the public opinion fray, I think they're well warranted in keeping a distance. It is after all a sensitive issue which is probably best approached with diplomatic means. That said, I think the public should not be lulled into thinking that there's probably nothing wrong here, since the "powers that be" haven't said a word (although I guess you can say that Mr. Whitten did send out an alert). The evidence/historical data seems to indicate otherwise. There's just so much the other side is saying that does not ring true at all.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 27, 2009 Well when Phil Whitten was editor of Swimming World, he had no qualms about speaking out very vocally and persistently against the Chinese doping and was in part responsible for them "cleaning up" their testing. In this case, there are no positive tests since last year, I understand, but if he were still on board I think he'd make some kind of comment on their progress given that issue was his "baby", so to speak. But which article are you speaking of? I could only find a recent one about the suits, and one last year on human rights abuses at the Olympics from last year, nothing on doping recently?? Thanks


Submitted by: liquidassets
October 27, 2009 Liquidassets,

Read the following article:

http://www.swimnetwork.com/blogs/blog/20090730/the_controversies_of_rome___1994_vs__2009-2584.html

There were no positive tests then either, until the trap was set. The Chinese knew and apparently still know how to get around the system.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 27, 2009 Liquidassets,

Read the following article:

http://www.swimnetwork.com/blogs/blog/20090730/the_controversies_of_rome___1994_vs__2009-2584.html

There were no positive tests then either, until the trap was set. The Chinese knew and apparently still know how to get around the system.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 27, 2009 "Funny how when it comes to the USA (an ally) they're all ready to pounce, but when it comes to a major human rights violator it's kids gloves time. It's like good is bad and bad is good."

Politics is dirty while swimming is pure fun and interest to me, that is why I came to Swimming World Magazine.

Sadly someone twisted what I said and mixed up swimming and politics together. Now it is becoming personal attack.

I now understand how difficult it is to have some independent voice here.

Not replying to him, doesn't mean being afraid and short of courage. It's just not worth it.

Submitted by: tim
October 27, 2009 no comment. you did all the talking.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 27, 2009 okay, tim, I'm biting.

I didn't at any point "twist" what you were saying. If you feel I did, please by all means point it out.

What puzzles me, really, is how easily people are willing to look past 10 years of systematic across the board doping coming from a country that does not share the same values as the rest of the world on this topic, and all because exalting the state is deemed more important than the well-being of its citizens.

I, too, hate politics, but there is no getting around the facts that it is politics specifically that motivates the cheating to begin with. We are trying to fight politics from overshadowing and corrupting what we can all agree is a wonderful sport.

It's the brazenness of cheaters what I find offensive, and I know you do too.

It's the "Surly Shirleys (reference to Shirley Babashoff who was denied a few gold medals because of the East German machine and openly voiced her suspicions of drug abuse) and the "Three Malcontents" (Forbes Carlile, John Leonard and Phil Witten) whose efforts and voices have 'motivated' our sport to head in the right direction and to strive to keep it clean.

If you took offense, I don't think you were listening to what I was saying.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 27, 2009 You guys all sound like Catrman from South Park in the "Chinese are taking over the world episode".
Submitted by: xxxxxxxjosh
October 27, 2009 Thanks Mario, I was looking for Whitten's comments on the current situation rather than '94, but it was good to read his summary of then.

I agree; it'll be nice when we can get away from discussing suits and doping and get back to swimming. But as you said, East Germany and China both have had political systems that included glorification of sport as part of their political propaganda and cheating that went along with it, so how can you avoid it. I guess I'm looking elsewhere for leadership because I don't have alot of faith in FINA to monitor China, both for how they handled E. Germany/China doping in the past, and also their role in letting the swimsuit debacle progress as far as it did.

Between doping in the 70's thru 90's between E. Germany and China, and the swimsuit issue dominating recent years, it's surprising that I stuck around as a swim fan for so long. I was looking through the SwimWorld Magazine last night looking at recent times and for the first time find myself losing interest because I can't interpret the results anymore.
Submitted by: liquidassets
October 27, 2009 Liquidassets,

Yes, in the meantime we shall "air our grievances" lol.

xxxxxxxjosh - that was awesome!
Submitted by: mario2007
October 27, 2009 Well they may have kicked us out of #1 economically, that was our fault, but I'll be damned if they'll kick us out of #1 in swimming unless its fair and square. Enjoy South Park while you can; it's only a matter of time before China owns Viacom/MTV/Comedy Central, too. ;-)
Submitted by: liquidassets
October 27, 2009 Politics is in every corner of the world. It can be in science field, in companies, even in third-grade classroom. When there are people involved and there are incentives behind (medals, awards, reputation, etc.), there are politics and there will always be cheating and corruptions in different forms. It is part of our civilization.

I know all of you have different opinions on the issues of dropping times, but I would like to know how a swimmer drops time is considered reasonable. 1 second per year? or 1 second per year in the junior years and then a few seconds each year when they come of age? It's a subjective issue. I think each swimmer goes through different training routine just like all walks of life who achieve different things at different stage of their life.

There are so many factors which can contribute their respective time drops/setbacks such as race, gene, drugs, supplements, training, injuries, climate, unforseen circumstances, suits, etc. Unless you can study closely with all these factors with respect to their time drop, all the comparison is inconclusive because you cannot explain. Moreover, we are just swim fans who watch them swim fast and we have no ideas exactly how they train, how they taper, how they eat and how they take supplements.

Finally, a formula is cooked up:
fast times Chinese media reports history = drugs gene doping. Well said!!

Submitted by: Will
October 27, 2009 Will,

I'll give you my take on it.

I think a second per year is optimistic as a junior (per 100 meters), but probably occurs for a couple of years. Thereafter, you would fall in the world class category and at this point 0.5 sec per 4 year period is probably realistic.

If you look historically, and throw out the drug induced performances (so I'm thinking the 54.79 100m for women in 1980, more like 55.6?) and those swum in souped up suits (the 52.07 100m for women in 2009, more like 52.9 textile), the progression in the sport has been about 0.1 second per year.

You can line that up in other events, both men and women. Numbers are pretty good, especially post 1980 (the women did a lot of catching up in the late 70s).
Submitted by: mario2007
October 28, 2009 mario2007,

"I never publically accused an INDIVIDUAL. I was very clear that I do not blame any Chinese athlete - they are under constraint to perform unlike anything we're used to. "

Quoted from your earlier post,
"The suit certainly isn't the factor in the case of Liu Zige, since she wore a LZR, unlike with Kukors who wore a Jaked which was like responsible for 3 of the 4 seconds dropped (take a look at transitions). Furthermore, Kukors has been around. Zige was a non-entity prior to 2008.

Yes, the answer is......(can you hear the drumroll).....DRUGS! "

Weren't these your words ?

Further ignoring age 16 to 17, let's detail Zige's progress from 18 to 20.

1) From 18 to 19,

2007 2:09.45 in textile at a minor meet
2008 2:07.76 in textile at their Olympic Trials
2008 2:04.18 in LZR at the Olympics where she competed in this bodysuit for the first time

That's a 5.37 secs drop with transition from textile to LZR bodysuit. Jessicah, on the other hand, dropped 3.46 secs from a textile 2:09.11 to a textile 2:05.40. In your own words, "in a LZR she could probably squeeze out a 2:04", i.e. assuming a transition from textile to LZR in a 200m race only yields an advantage of around a second, which will still make their drops comparable.

2) At age 20,

2009 2:03.90 in LZR at Rome Worlds
2009 2:01.81 in LZR at China national games

She improved 2.2 seconds here, with an added advantage of training and competing in LZR for a year. This drop wasn't matched by Jessicah at age 20, but possibly, she didn't have a LZR bodysuit to finetune her body position.

"Schipper only swam the 2:03.41, because she was aided by the Jaked, otherwise she is a 2:04 swimmer at best. You put Liu in a Jaked and she would drop a 1:59 high. "

According to you, Schipper dropped only around a second because of a Jaked or Hydrofoil but you'd somehow conclude that Liu will drop 2 seconds in a Jaked ? At the recent Rome Worlds, Zige stuck to her LZR precisely because she felt it suits her better, having tried the Jaked in pre-meet training. So basically, the assumption that "Liu would drop a 1:59 high" is a wild guess at best. Hence, your statement that "To be 3.5 seconds faster than anyone else, especially so many athletes who have been training longer than her, not even Phelps has ever been that good. " would be based on conjecture.

"So when a Chinese coach says she has "superb" technique - no kidding, really? It's all about braggadocio and saving face with the Chinese. So no surprise here, it's actually what I would expect to hear. "

The paragraph I quoted clearly indicated "leading coaching figures beyond China" instead of a Chinese coach, who described her "as having been very well coached and sporting a superb technique".


Submitted by: spw
October 28, 2009 Will,

"fast times Chinese media reports history = drugs gene doping. "

Indeed, reminds me of that pre-2008 rumour on how China will sweep most of the gold medals at Beijing Olympics with a group of secretly-trained swimmers...


Submitted by: spw
October 28, 2009 spw,

Yes, the answer is DRUGS or gene doping or some form of PEDs. But I'm not accusing the individual swimmer of taking them willingly and with intent to cheat. I do accuse, and have always been consistent on this if you care to read, the Chinese sports ministry for forcing this on their athletes. The athletes really don't have a choice in the matter.

You're good at selective reading. Another example of that is saying that
"According to you, Schipper dropped only around a second because of a Jaked".

Schipper's 2:05.40 was done in a textile suit. She dropped 2 seconds wearing the Jaked at Worlds. The Jaked has been shown to be superior (100% polyurethane vs. 50%) to the LZR, therefore, I calculated the difference in drop for a swimmer like Schipper would be about 1 second, or half the difference. Let's not re-word what I said.

Truth is that these suits affect different swimmers different ways, and gives a greater advantage to a swimmer with a less refined technique. I also think that there's a slight advantage the taller the swimmer.

It's not conjecture to say that she would swim 1:59 high in a Jaked, since

a.) she herself says she could go faster
(and let's face it, she's been dropping time like it's going out of fashion)
b.) she was swimming in a LZR and would probably drop 1 second automatically by switching to a LZR.

That she has superb technique according to "some leading coaching figures beyond China" is a possibility- I'd like to know who the coaches are. Also, that her technique is so superb that she's 3.5 seconds faster than her competition - not even Mary T. Meagher could claim that.

I think that covers it.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 28, 2009 It still seems to me that these arguments some of you are having are open ended and without ability for resolution and could be carried on for weeks and weeks back and forth.
I see only two paths to resolution. All of you posting on here play a role in these resolutions if we truly want level playing fields, regardless of what part of the world you are reading this from. If you want to believe in the results you see, then here you go:
1) Get rid of the suits. Then doping cheats can't hide behind the "it was the suit" mantra which we all know has occurred lately (in countries not just named China). Make swimmers use what is given to them in a natural biological fashion only. (we are on our way on this point)
2) All of you become advocates and lend your voice in whatever small or large way you can to push your country to lobby FINA, WADA and the IOC to modernize drug testing. As I posted before, we are trying to catch 2009 cheaters with 1976 testing. The science of cheating is being allowed to win. It doesn't have to.
Otherwise, all we are doing is speculating on something we will never know is true or false. Great for arguments sake with each other and we all love a good mystery.
But we aren't going to prove anything without passionate people standing up for what they believe in.

Submitted by: rcoach
October 28, 2009 "But we aren't going to prove anything without passionate people standing up for what they believe in."

....And I believe Liu Zige will go a 1:59 totally clean in a textile suit.
Submitted by: xxxxxxxjosh
October 28, 2009 rcoach,

I think it's great that they're going back to textile suits. Hurray for slower times! lol

The Zhou Ming incident is a clear violation, and the other stuff just smells like it quite a bit.

As far as FINA being lobbied, they have gotten that numerous times in the past, but they are clearly averse to enforcing any standards. The Phil Witten article is a good example of that. However, I'll sign any petition, get on board with any initiative made available to the public which can then presented to FINA to act upon, and hope for the best.

I mean, other than that, can you propose or think of any other concrete action that can be taken?
Submitted by: mario2007
October 28, 2009 Yes, Xjosh, but not until next month!
Submitted by: mario2007
October 28, 2009 mario.
Here are my suggestions:
I think the best action that can be taken is to go to national governing body conventions (every country has one I believe) and try to gain support for the NGB to publicly support the idea of blood, urine and in this day and age even the DNA, cellular and molecular passporting of all elite level athletes in that sport in it's country.
That's a first step.
Second step is to know the people that make up the NGB are serious about drug free sport and want the NGB and the organizations such as the USOC to push for stricter testing world wide with enhanced methods (which as I mentioned can be found in any hospital).
Third, promote the idea of funding for these ideas (they will definitely cost money). Right now it is cost prohibitive for higher tech testing.
These are baby steps and basically have you seen those guys that pull trains on a rope? This is the hard, grinding, grunt work to get the train moving. Sometimes it moves, sometimes it doesn't (anyone else find it ironic I am using the example of a World's Strongest Man competition aka Steriod Olympics to make my point about doping--lol).
But if you get it to move, then momentum can carry you.
Too idealistic? Maybe, but it has to start sometime.
Now here's the real problem that no one likes to talk about.
Countries don't really want to try and catch drug cheats that badly (yes, this definitely applies to the United States too).
A lot of you folks were talking politics. Medals are as useful as bombs (USA vs. USSR - remember that little go around for 40 years?) for propaganda (and yes, now definitely China fits into this cold war era mentality) and getting an agenda forwarded around the world.
A more stringent drug testing policy also means that more athletes will get caught. Period.
And according to the rules of the IOC, if you have 4 positive tests in any floating 12 month period, that country may not compete in that sport in an Olympics Games or IOC sponsored event (I believe that would equate to things like Worlds since it's a FINA event).
The bottom line is that it is political and financial suicide of a sport or a countries (or the IOC's)reputation to increase or improve testing to the point of modernization and then produce a rash of positive tests across the sports spectrum.
Could you imagine the United States saying, "we are going to use the most modern science to catch drug cheats". Doing so and then going to London to compete and not having Track, Swimming or bunch of it's sports competing because the science caught up, but it also kicked out. Do you think any country wants that spotlight to shine that bright?
Why do you think the USA Baseball team couldn't even qualify for Athens? Major League play was too important for the biggest stars to represent their country? Nonsense. The NHL makes way. It's because most of the MLB players can't pass an IOC drug test and everyone at the top knows this.
No, sports major problem is not how to catch the cheats. We already know how to do that. It can be done anytime anywhere if a country was so inclined.
Countries like China (and their history) have embraced this ideology that doping, by most countries unwillingness to take action which could come back to harm themselves, is then something to be exploited since no one really wants to catch "everyone".
Just everyone in other countries.
Don't blame the Chinese for a problem all countries and the IOC created.

Submitted by: rcoach
October 28, 2009 I wonder how much the fact that Zhou Ming is still coaching has to do with so many people doubting the legitimacy of the Chinese performances? After giving this thought, the fact that Zhou is on deck as a coach sends up red flags (for me) asking how and why this is happening. Any thoughts?????
Submitted by: paddles
October 28, 2009 RCOACH! Finally some reason (instead of mumble jumble) and some proposal (instead of whining). People have been using "the suit" card. Doping is a given. Getting rid of it will take a political movement.
Submitted by: nadador
October 28, 2009 rcoach,

I don't know to what extent the domestic controversy goes with doping. I know that in swimming, at least, the testing of American athletes is pretty prevalent and frequent. I do believe our swimming program is pretty clean and what you might find is an isolated case here and there in the course of years where a cheater is caught.

I still believe in giving credit where credit is due, and its corollary, scrutinizing countries that cheat on a massive scale (let's not forget East Germany; China is a very similar story and not just in swimming). We can't remain quiet about that. And I know that's not what you're saying (as far as remaining quiet).

Anyway, I'm interested in knowing what else you know on this topic, especially where it relates to swimming. It seems you've been involved at some level.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 29, 2009 mario2007,

"Yes, the answer is DRUGS or gene doping or some form of PEDs."
"I do accuse ... the Chinese sports ministry for forcing this on their athletes. The athletes really don't have a choice in the matter. "

How do you know that ? Even assuming Chinese sports ministry force drugs on their athletes, why didn't Zige's national team mate Jiao Liuyang drop from 2:04 to a 2:02 ? Instead, she swam a 2:05, slower than her 2:04s at Olympics and Worlds.

You said, "Schipper only swam the 2:03.41, because she was aided by the Jaked, otherwise she is a 2:04 swimmer at best. ", which I took it to mean the "floatation device" - whether Jaked or Hydrofoil - helped her slice a second off.

You further claimed "Liu would drop to a 1:59 high in Jaked (100% polyurethane)" from a LZR (50% polyurethane) 2:01 high, i.e. IF she competes in a Jaked before 2010. Shouldn't this drop be closer to half the difference of Schipper's drop from a textile 2:05.40 to a Jaked 2:03.41 (100%), instead of double the difference ?

"difference in drop for a swimmer like Schipper would be about 1 second, or half the difference"

Half the difference of ___ ?

"Truth is that these suits affect different swimmers different ways, and gives a greater advantage to a swimmer with a less refined technique. I also think that there's a slight advantage the taller the swimmer. "

Possible, but are you guessing Zige has "a less refined technique" ?

"It's not conjecture to say that she would swim 1:59 high in a Jaked, since

a.) she herself says she could go faster
(and let's face it, she's been dropping time like it's going out of fashion)
b.) she was swimming in a LZR and would probably drop 1 second automatically by switching to a LZR. "

Based on your reasons, it still is ...


Submitted by: spw
October 29, 2009 "I still believe in giving credit where credit is due, and its corollary, scrutinizing countries that cheat on a massive scale. We can't remain quiet about that. And I know that's not what you're saying (as far as remaining quiet). "

No one is suggesting to remain quiet. You can certainly compile a list of results you deemed suspicous and write to the NGB as rcoach suggested. At least, it'll be much better than "airing your grievances" here, which I don't think their NGB is aware of.


Submitted by: spw
October 29, 2009 spw,

1 is the half of 2. You really are not reading my posts.

"How do you know that ? Even assuming Chinese sports ministry force drugs on their athletes, why didn't Zige's national team mate Jiao Liuyang drop from 2:04 to a 2:02 ?"

You really don't understand communist countries. Second, Jiao probably didn't drop from 2:04 to a 2:02 for the same reason that athletes in every country don't always progressively do better each time they swim, be they on PEDs or not. Come on now!

And, YES, I would say Zige has a less refined technique. Or at least she did until very recently. At the 2008 Olympic trials she swan a 59.47 in the 100m fly. 18 months later, she swims a 56.07 in the same event. This can ONLY be attributed to 3 things:

1. use of a more high tech suit
2. somewhat significant increase in strength
3. improvement in stroke technique

Clearly factor number 1 nobody would argue. Let's be generous/fair and say she got 1.5 second increase on this(textile to LZR).
So the other 1.9 seconds improvement came in strength/technique improvements - over 100m. That's pretty impressive for someone who's been swimming competitively at a world class level for 3 years already.

You really need to analyze things a little better.

If anything "airing grievances" is not such a bad thing on these boards. Clearly, there's a lot of willingness out there (even from swimfans?) to congratulate these performances, without truly putting them into perspective and recognizing them for what they very well may, in fact, be.

I don't rule out what rcoach suggested, although I have to wonder how effective it has been. I think there's a need out there for more analysis so that swim fans are better able to discern what's legit and what isn't. There's something to be said for raising consciousness about this issue, to the point of bringing about great dissatisfaction among fans with the state of affairs in the sport of swimming. If there's a ground swell, more is likely to be done at the top.

But if you ask me, and I think this column bears it out, there's still a lot of content fans out there either not willing to rock the boat or ever willing to reserve judgment (to what point who knows?). It is what it is.

Then again, maybe our purpose in all of this is to get the people who publish these swimming websites, who also have influence and contacts in the swimming community, to pursue this matter on behalf of the fans. Could it be that something like that is what happened 15 years ago...?

See: http://www.swimnetwork.com/blogs/blog/20090730/the_controversies_of_rome___1994_vs__2009-2584.html

1994: Chinese Doping, 2nd paragraph

Submitted by: mario2007
October 29, 2009 Mario, if I ever legal counsel, I want YOU in my corner.
Submitted by: paddles
October 29, 2009 Mario2007, if I ever need legal counsel, I want you on my team.
Submitted by: paddles
October 29, 2009 Paddles,

Thanks, but I think I'll just stick to swimming rants. We will both be better off. lol.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 29, 2009 I find it amazing that another country swims fast and instantly there is pouncing on the fact that they must be on drugs. Yes perhaps (a big chance) that she is, however, Americans are THE BIGGEST COVERUP country out there. No matter what they do, yes it was done by hard work of course couldn't be anything else.
Hmmmm lets think about that for a second.... I am pretty sure Americans have recently had the Balco scandal... a scandal that if you gave the testimony in a closed case, you got off scott free! So all of those swimmers and other athletes who were involved we will never know about. Richard Quick was asked to step down "retire" from Stanford because he was implicated, Amy Van Dyken testified, anyone remember Dara Torres in 2000 wearing a Balco cap because she was sponsored by them...
In more recent times, Jessica Hardy. She cheated!!!!! Took a banned substance, what does she get?? A one year ban, when it should be a full 2 or 4 year suspension. The moment her ban is over she comes out and breaks the world record in not only the 100 breast but the 50 as well.
You can even look to other sports.... The recent admittance of tennis star Andre Aggasi taking crystal meth and being caught. He gets no ban, no one even knows about it until years later when he admits to it. How many more cover ups are you going to have while still blaming anyone and everyone else for tainted races.

Submitted by: anonswiming
October 29, 2009 anonswiming,

I think America is the biggest target by the rest of the world (for more reasons than I care to go into), but nowhere near the biggest coverup country in the world, we just are a heck of a lot more open about our scandals.

As far as the other accusations - well,Richard Quick was implicated by Amy Van Dyken who was on the BALCO list and that's the sum of it. If she was guilty, it's not the first time someone in her position might lie for gain. No other accusations exist. Strange only 1 person in a very long career accusing you of cheating. Also, I would add that this is the first time I've ever heard of this. Probably, because there's no substance to it except for America haters and false accusers like anonswiming. I'm willing, and have before, to post my real name. How about you, anonswiming?

As for Dara Torres, I'd be willing to bet she's been tested more times than the entire Chinese team put together, and never positive.

Continuing, Jessica Hardy was CLEARED. But that's not something you would want to point out. Also, she broke the world records in the Jaked - big surprise. Breastroke was probably benefited the most by this suit, she's always been among the elite breastrokers in the world since 2005, and she had something to prove.

Finally, Andre's taking of crystal meth coincided with his slump in the tennis rankings. Another interesting little fact that you conveniently left out.

Anon, bring some substance, not just 1 athlete if you're going to try to make the case that "Americans are THE BIGGEST COVERUP country out there". Lame!

Oh yes, did you read?:

http://www.swimnetwork.com/blogs/blog/20090730/the_controversies_of_rome___1994_vs__2009-2584.html
Submitted by: mario2007
October 30, 2009 mario2007,

"1 is the half of 2."

Of course 1 is the half of 2, but which one is your "2" referring to ? Jessicah's drop of 2 seconds in a Jaked/Hydrofoil or your wild guess that Zige would drop 2 seconds in a Jaked ?

Point taken, it's still your speculation though.

" At the 2008 Olympic trials she swan a 59.47 in the 100m fly. 18 months later, she swims a

56.07 in the same event. This can ONLY be attributed to 3 things: "

Only ? You really don't understand Chinese swimmers. Based on swimming news reports from China, when it comes to Olympics and Worlds, most of top Chinese swimmers typically will only choose to focus on at most one individual event which they feel they have their best chance at winning/medaling. This is especially after semi-finals were introduced at these major meets. At trials, other events are used more for getting a feel of the pool/water before they plunge in for their target event. Hence, her 59.47 at 2008 Trials might not be the fastest 100m she could've swum at that time, given her pet event has always been the 200.

So your statement "So the other 1.9 seconds improvement came in strength/technique improvements - over 100m." is conjecture and,

your statement "YES, I would say Zige has a less refined technique. Or at least she did until very recently" is based on conjecture ...

"You really need to analyze things a little better.

If anything "airing grievances" is not such a bad thing on these boards."

True true .. but clearly doing more is better, isn't it ? rcoach's suggestion of various types of passporting is worth a try if you're so convinced they're all doped.


Submitted by: spw
October 30, 2009 spw,

We are agreed on one thing. Doing more is better.

Funny how it's ONLY Chinese swimmers (or Liu, anyway) who show that great a variance in competed event times.

My "wild" guess that Zige would (future racing - always clear on this) drop 2 more seconds in a Jaked is based on the fact that she said she could swim faster, and an additional 1 second drop over the LZR when wearing the Jaked. Also, clear on that in my previous statement.

As far as time drops in the Jaked - you can go across the board and check times for just about every competitor at Worlds - there was a time drop across the board of about 0.5/100m from LZR to Jaked. That's 1 second over 200 meters. Sometimes more, rarely less.

Not conjecture, an educated guess based on hard data that bears out that assessment.

The time drops are undeniable and unmatched by a good margin over all of her competitors. Likewise, stack all the other parallels to the East German program, and voila.

Let's here from other folks! Of course, this subject is/has getting/gotten worn out, and people have better things to do with their time. lol.
Submitted by: mario2007
October 30, 2009 One more voice from the peanut gallery...but so much talk about Liu breaking the two minute barrier leaves me feeling empty. Under two in a LZR or Jaked (and this is ME talking and no one else) means nothing. In a textile suit? I would do cartwheels and back flips because it would be history. But like Pelligrini at Rome going under 4 in the 400.....not much emotion from me. So many people (swimmers and coaches) insist that they will swim just as fast in textile as they did in rubber. I hope so. I would love to see Liu go under 2 in textile and Pelligrini under 4.
Once we get into 2010 conjecture will disappear and finally we will get into racing on a level playing field.
As far as rcoach and others with their ideas to clean up the sport, we really need to come together and put up a united front and force this sport to clean up it's act. Coaches have their voice and the athletes have theirs. Fans need one as well.
Submitted by: paddles
October 31, 2009 "We are agreed on one thing. Doing more is better.

My "wild" guess that Zige would (future racing - always clear on this) drop 2 more seconds in a Jaked is based on the fact that she said she could swim faster, and an additional 1 second drop over the LZR when wearing the Jaked. Also, clear on that in my previous statement.

Not conjecture, an educated guess based on hard data that bears out that assessment. "

Based on your reasons, it still is ... I've said this before, Zige felt the LZR suits her better and is unlikely to compete in a Jaked. Also, to let you know, when she made that comment post-race, she was referring to that swim itself, i.e. she thought she could go faster. Zige later clarified at press conference she hasn't competed without fast suit for a long while and thus won't know what results she'll swim next year.

"Of course, this subject is/has getting/gotten worn out, and people have better things to do with their time. lol."

Agreed on another. lol.
Submitted by: spw
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