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Tuesday, 2nd June 2009
In Japan Sports News,

Japanese athlete expresses frustration over swimwear regulations

Japanese swimming ace Ryosuke Irie has expressed his frustration at the ongoing debate over swimwear regulations after doubts over his suit placed his world record-breaking time in jeopardy.

The 19-year-old athlete recorded a 200m backstroke time of 1:52:86 last month, more than a second faster than the world record set by American Ryan Lochte at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

However, governing body FINA has yet to ratify Irie's time due to questions over his hi-tech swimming suit.

Irie expressed his disappointment over the sport's continuing emphasis on the swimwear over the athlete and stated that he hopes to break the world record again wearing the same suit when he competes at the Japanese Open.

The swimmer set the disputed record at the Duel in the Pool event in Canberra on May 11th.

Australia's national head coach described Irie's performance as "phenomenal", saying: "He's one of the best backstrokers you would ever see and it was inevitable that he would break a world record eventually."

By Mark Smith