US swimmer Ricky Berens suffered an unfortunate costume malfunction on Sunday at the FINA World Championships in Rome. Moments before the athlete was scheduled to swim third in a team relay he split his suit while bending over to have a drink of water.
The split in his Jaked01 costume exposed Berens’ rear end, but there was no time to change his suit.
US swimmer Cullen Jones urged Berens to forget the gaping hole and swim. He completed the relay despite the malfunction and helped earn his team a fourth-place finish in its heat in 3 minutes, 11.64 seconds.
“He still swam his heart out,” Jones told reachforthewall.com. “To see that kind of professionalism in college; I know I didn’t have it.” Jones said that many swimmers are having a similar problem when searching for the tightest fitting costume for the greatest performance enhancement. “They’re all splitting,” Jones claimed. “We’re all having problems. We want to get it as tight as possible as sprinters.”
This follows a similar incident at the Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Italy, where Italian Olympic swimmer Flavia Zoccari was forced to sit out a championship race after her suit burst open in the rear.