BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — A strange-looking Australian-designed polycarbonate swimming training device has helped an Aussie swimmer win gold at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The injection molded PC device, called a Corsuit, has a nylon strap and an acetal thermoplastic buckle. It straps on like a belt, contouring to fit the spine and support swimmers' core muscles and posture.
Rowan Crothers, a disabled swimmer with cerebral palsy, began training with a Corsuit last year and on July 24 won gold in the men's 100-meter freestyle S9 final at the Commonwealth Games, an international, multi-sport event for British Commonwealth athletes.
Fellow Australian swimmer Christian Sprenger also trains with a Corsuit and won bronze in the men's 50-meter breaststroke.
Brisbane-based Queensland University of Technology (QUT) industrial design graduate Sam James designed the Corsuit as a university assignment to improve swimmers' speed and strength.
In 2010, after full-length bodysuits were banned from professional swimming, James examined how they improved swimmers' technique.
He created the Corsuit to train swimmers to naturally replicate the advantages they had gained from wearing full bodysuits.