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Struggling Magnini Undergoes Medical Tests

May 31, 2009  - Craig Lord

Italy: The chances of Filippo Magnini making it three 100m free world crowns in a row at a home world championships in Rome this July look evermore remote, according to reports out of Italy and France today but the swimmer sees things differently. After failing to make the final of the 200m free at Italian nationals in Pescara last Friday (1:49.92 in qualifiers) and having managed a 49.01 split in the 4x100m free relay for his club, Magnini withdrew from the championships. Not all is lost, perhaps, given that he clocked 48.11 in April, but when asked about his form by reporters in Pescara, he said: "I don't really want to speak about it. Everyone is asking what's wrong with me, but I don't know. I'm human, I have a right to be tired. But all of a sudden, its said that I'm in crisis. It is an exaggeration." Nonetheless, Dr Lorenzo Marugo, is quoted as saying: "He's had some complaints for three weeks. We ran some tests to see what's going on ... so far we found nothing. We'll have some more test results within the next few days. We'll see if the problem is a virus. Magnini's coach Claudio Rossetto, adds: "I'm sad for him. We can only await the test results. Filippo is concerned. And in two months he must be ready to roll...".

Spain: Sports pages in several publications in Spain today carry news that Rafael Munoz, who axed half a second off the world record in the 50m butterfly this year, is preparing to wear the Jaked01 suit in competition again despite the fact that, for now at least, the suit has been rejected by FINA on the advice of the independent suit testing team left by Prof Jan-Anders Manson. The suit is said to trap air and therefore will affect angle of buoyancy. Some suits are being retested unmodified but stretched to simulate conditions on a human body, though more dryland than in water at speed. That simulation, that forces air through fabric, does not yet go far enough: for 2009, tests that show the extremely significant effect of non-permeable suits during the glide phase of the dive and the first critical several seconds of a race have not been taken into consideration. Those tests show one of the key reasons why performance-enhancement in current suits is all the more noticeable in 50m and 100m sprint events. Jaked suits were developed by Francesco Fabbrica, an electrician by trade and a man interested in hydrothermal technology. He named his company after his two young sons, Jake and Edoardo, both junior swimmers. Fabbrica's current suits may soon be gone but he intends to continue as a player in the swimming market and on one score at least deserves a special prize of his own: while Speedo is said to have spent "many millions" developing the LZR, the Jaked suit was put together by several light industry firms based close to Fabricca's house in Italy at a cost that would have Pentland bean-counters frothing at the mouth. The investment figures - high, nonetheless, for a small player, explain, in part, why the Jaked is about $150 cheaper than the LZR. The second reason why Fabbrica deserves a medal is because his Jaked01 has served to highlight the choice facing swimming: equipment-based or technique-based?