By Phillip Whitten
PHOENIX, Ariz., USA, July 21. AS we predicted back in January, FINA has overwhelmingly approved a recommendation by its Technical Committee to permit one downward dolphin kick on the start and each turn in the breaststroke.
The action was taken at today's FINA Technical Swimming Congress meeting in Montreal over the objection of the USA, Australia and several other countries. However it had solid support by the European nations.
According to Carol Zaleski (USA), Chair of the FINA Technical Committee, the change came largely as a result of the controversy engendered last year when Japan's Kosuke Kitajima, winner of both the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke events at the Olympic Games in Athens, took a very large dolphin kick after the start and turn of the 100-meter race but was not disqualified.
The Technical Congress also voted overwhelmingly to clarify the backstroke finish rule. It will be okay for a swimmer to be completely submerged at the finish.
These changes will not go into effect until late September, 2005.