Rome 2009, Day 8
Men's 4x100m medley final
The USA quartet and their suits took a sledgehammer to the world record to win the final final of the 13th world championships in 3:27.28 and take down the fourth world record of the day. The silver went to Germany in 3:28.58, a European record, and the bronze to Australia, in 3:28.64. The race gave Michael Phelps his fifth gold medal of the meet, alongside the silver he took in the 200m freestyle in which Paul Biedermann, of Germany, clocked a 1:42.00 world record, aided, as all times in Rome were, by a suit.
The meet closes with 43 world records. That's 27 more than the previous record tally and 14 more than the record of records, of 29 at Montreal 1976 when goggles paved the way to clear vision for the first time in Olympic waters.
And the gold this time goes to ... the suits, which overshadowed an enormous amount of hard work and dedication of the athletes who wore them. Most are now glad that January 1, 2010 will see the back of a circus that made a mockery of the sport of swimming.
The winning time from Melbourne 2007 (when the US did not race the final having been dq'd in morning heats), would have been 3sec off the pace of the last team home in the Rome final.