Swimming is a major player on the Olympic scene. In fact, it is one of the biggest players, thanks to the Phelps-fueled hysteria.
But there is another side to the sport that lurks in the shadows. FinSwimming. There, not only are fins encouraged, they’re required. The sport has a full contingent of global competitions, including a World Cup, a World Junior Championship, and continental championships, and compete at their own global answer to the Olympics – the World Games that host all of the Olympic castouts (like bowling, rugby sevens, and tug-of-war).
Swiss National Record holder Flori Lang went a long way toward bringing the sport into the light on Wednesday, when he broke the FinSwimming BiFin World Record in the 50 meter surface bifin swim with a 19.10. This means that swimming freestyle, with fins, following the normal rules about 15 meter underwaters, Lang swam a 19.10. “Bifins” are standard, separate fins (as compared to monofins, where hte feet are yolked together like a mermaid).
That is hauling for a man whose best in standard competition is 22.06. His swim took down the 2011 record held by the Czech Republic’s Andrej Broda in 19.34 from that year’s World Championships.