Olympic champions Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin helped Speedo unveil its latest swimsuit ahead of next summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. At a launch event in New York on 15 December, the pair joined 22 other swimmers in a display resembling a Periodic Table chart dubbed The Winning Elements.

All 24 of Speedo's stable of athletes – who accounted for 78 Olympic medals and 17 world records – were wearing the new Fastskin LZR Racer while standing in the artistic presentation that measured 20m x 7m.

Designed at the iconic swim brand's Aqualab, the new suits have already benefited the athletes as they prepare for their national trials to qualify for the Rio Games next August.

"It's been awesome. We've had a lot of competition the past several months and I've actually been faster in almost every event at this time this year than I was in 2011 going into 2012, which is really, really exciting," said Missy Franklin, who made her debut at the 2011 World Championships and won four gold medals at the London Olympics.

"Going into Rio, I'm not going to go there with the goal of trying to beat myself from four years ago, I'm going to go in with the goal of being the best self that I can be, right now, here as I am. I'll be 21 when I get to Rio and I want to do the best I can when I'm there."

Among the noticeable absentees from Speedo's line up was American Michael Phelps, who, though a life-long Speedo wearer, signed with Aqua Sphere in 2014 after his return from retirement.