Jason And The Jakednauts
Jul 26, 2009 - Craig Lord
So, here's the thing. We witnessed wave after wave of "development-meet" heats this morning rattling off the blocks in shiny suits. So many, in fact, that the suit folk who monitor the beach huts along the passage from the warm-down pool had fainted under the pressure and had then gone off, presumably, to have a long lunch or perhaps to knock on a few more FINA doors to see if they open.
All of which renders meaningless the term "available to all". Get this for a farce fit for the circus:
Jason Dunford, US-based Kenyan and world-class flyer spent 50 minutes pushing and pulling before heats of a 50m race that took 23 plus seconds, burst two Jakeds. Luckily, he had a Blueseventy to hand was able to get in and compete for a place in the semi.
After the race, Dunford was keen to get his hands on another Jaked because he feels that it is a suit that helps enormously on a 50m 'fly and he will have to compete alongside other people who will have that suit on their skins. relative fair play and all that.
Dunford arrived at the Jaked beach hut to find that there was nothing doing. There were no suits because they had been given out this morning. Not to be deterred in these times when a suit can mean a place in the next round or not, Dunford returned later in the day. But the beach hut was shut. No suit.
In desperation, Dunford, a man who missed an Olympic medal by a fingernail last year, turned to fellow Africans on the Uganda team. He has managed to borrow a Jaked. As I write, he's probably about to start the process of squeezing into a suit that takes more than 100 times longer to put on than it does it does to race in.
The stress placed on swimmers to get into the "right" suit and then the stress associated with not being able to get a suit of the kind you want, before or between rounds is totally unacceptable.
Roll on 2010 - assuming the newly elected FINA Bureau does not slide back into the murky waters created by those who allowed the LZR into the pool and then compounded the error by delivering the circus now unfolding, as we knew it would, in Rome.