Liu expects new records without high-speed suits
HONG KONG (AP)Olympic 200-meter butterfly champion Liu Zige expects to keep breaking world records even without the high-performance swimsuits that will be banned starting next year.
"I had to work very hard to break the world record even when wearing the swimsuits," the 20-year-old swimmer said after winning her signature event at the East Asian Games on Sunday. "I think I can still do it (without the swimsuits) through hard work."
The use of polyurethane and neoprene suits, which give swimmers more buoyancy and speed, has led to dozens of new world records over the last couple of year's. At the world championships in Rome this year, 43 world records were set.
Liu won the Beijing Olympics last year with a then-world record time of 2 minutes, 4.18 seconds. Her record was broken in Rome by Australia's Jessica Schipper, who swam a 2:03.41.
On Sunday, Liu won with a time of 2:04.65, still wearing a high-performance suit, and said afterward she was happy with the result.
"Our mission was only to win gold. Plus based on my current fitness and training level, I don't have the capacity to break the world record," she said.
Liu said she didn't mind the swimsuit ban as long as there's a level playing field.
"It's OK as long as everyone doesn't wear them. It's OK if it's fair. I don't mind," she said.