Today adidas made a global release of its new swimming body suit - the answer to the opposition companys' products .
Unlike other manufacturers products seen recently, the adidas contribution is a FULL body suit - from neck ankle and neck to wrists only the feet and and face are uncovered, the head being covered by a latex cap.
Robert Mills, adidas Marketing Manager Australia, said in announcing the release of the suit that FINA had already approved of its and other companies suits.
The navy stretch lycra suit with bold lime green striped sleeves has passed the modesty and floatation criteria set by FINA. The design aims to cut down resistance between suit and skin and external drag. There is no floatation advantage.
When asked what the cost of the suits would be Mills replied: "That decision has not yet been made, but my expectation is that it will be in the range of $AUD300 to 400."
Compared to other sport's clothing and equipment, swimming is probably catching up to, but would still be far behind manysports such as archery, cycling, shooting and some of the field events in track and field.
After spending a long time reviewing the adidas full body suit and competitors products, Thorpe has chosen to partner with adidas because of the high level of innovation that the brand is bringing the sport of swimming.
"Apart from Ian's amazing feats in the pool, adidas feels that his passion and respect for swimming is a perfect fit with how the adidas brand views sport," said the adidas Marketing manager.
The press release goes on to say: "adidas has been a major player in the international swimwear market for over ten years. However recent developments of the full body suitsignals a concerted effort by the brand to become the best performance swimming brand in the market."
Thorpe will now be involved at the forefront of testing as adidas works to further refine the suit before the Sydney Olympic Games. adidas claims that many of the features of the adidas full body suit have derived from developments of track and field apparel launched at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
The young Australian world record holder demonstrated the suit and looked able to swim with his normal high elbow technique, six beat kickand fluid stroke.
He said: "It feels good; the suits seems to hug close to your skin and reduces resistance particularly across the shoulders. I'll be trying it out at the Australian Short Course Championships in Canerra this week - Thursday morning in the prelims."