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Irie mocks suit row, suggests wearing G-strings

JAPAN'S world title favorite Ryosuke Irie says racing in skimpy G-strings would put a stop to the raging bodysuit row.

The 19-year-old broke the men's 200-meter backstroke world record last month but swimming's governing body FINA has yet to ratify the mark because of questions over the suit he wore.

"It would be better if all the swimmers did (wear tiny swimming trunks) but it would be tough to make them do it," Irie said yesterday.

"It's sad everyone keeps talking about the swimsuits. Mentally it was a bit upsetting for me. My swimming went to pieces and I didn't want to get in the pool for a while."

Irie's time of one minute, 52.86 seconds in Canberra wiped over a second off the previous mark set by American Ryan Lochte in last year's Beijing Olympic final.

FINA will re-examine Irie's Descente racing suit before approving the time but Japan's hottest swimmer insisted he would tear through the red tape and make the argument academic.

"They can ratify it as a world record or not," said Irie, tipped for gold at this year's world championships in Rome in July-August.

"I broke it once so I will break it again. FINA haven't ruled on it yet and the rules could change again."

As the race to develop the most hi-tech swimming suits escalates and world records tumble, calls have increased for standardized manufacturing regulations.

"If you break a world record now it's all about the suit," Irie said. "The technology has a part to play and can shave a few hundredths off the time but we are the ones swimming."

Japan's multiple Olympic winner Kosuke Kitajima courted controversy before the 2008 Beijing Games when he wore a T-shirt with the slogan: "I am the swimmer."


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