Hong Kong -- China's National Diving Team, which performed in high-tech swimming suits using special thermoplastic polyurethane coating from Li Ning Co. Ltd, gained many gold medals in the 14th FINA World Championships, held in Shanghai, China, 16-31 July.
By noon on the fourth day, Wu Minxia and He Zi, of the China National Diving Team, had won gold medals in the women's 3-metre synchronised springboard event while Huo Liang and Qiu Bo took the gold in the men's 10-metre synchronised event.
Li Shixin and Shi Tingmao won gold in the men's and women's 1-metre springboard diving event, respectively, while Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao were placed first in the 10-metre synchronised event.
For theseWorld Championships, Li Ning created customised, high-technology, suits for the Chinese and US teams. The Chinese sports-wear group said the suits were "specially designed for their unique physiques and distinct techniques."
For the Chinese team, suits were based on Li Ning's previous visual design, but made with a tight-fitting material of high elasticity, to allow athletes to stretch to their limits. The suits also have drainage grooves, to target characteristics of Asian body types.
Li Ning says, "In the split-second the athlete enters the water, these drainage grooves allow the water trapped between the athlete's body and the swimming suit to be promptly expelled. This reduces the resistance upon entering the water, resulting in entries with minimal splashes"
For the US team, Li Ning assessed their techniques and increased the amount of TPU coating for their suits, allowing greater strength and better speed. The close-fitting material "effectively controls the release of muscle power and thereby helps to reduce energy loss," Li Ning added.
These suits use some similar technology to the controversial body suits now banned by FINA -- the international swimming federation -- in which swimmers broke many world records in 2008 and 2009.