KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Australian head coach Alan Thompson on Thursday predicted the Olympic swimming competition will be the fastest and toughest ever witnessed. His comments bode well for a deluge of world records being shattered in Beijing where many competitors will benefit from wearing a controversial new piece of swimming technology - Speedo's LZR Racer swimsuit. Swimmers kitted out in the form-fitting bodysuit have set countless new world marks in the months since its release in February. "I think it's going to be the fastest ever," Thompson said in Kuala Lumpur where the hotly-tipped Australians are training and acclimatising before heading to Beijing over the weekend. "I said that about the world champiomships in Melbourne last year and I don't think it is going to be any different in Beijing. "It will also be the toughest to make the semis, the toughest to make the finals, and the toughest to win."Whether that results in world records all the time or whether the world records will come in the finals, I think we're going to have to wait and see what happens."Traditionally the major swimming superpowers at Olympic Games have been the Australians and the Americans, but Thompson cautioned that other nations are rapidly closing the gap."The depth in world swimming these days is huge," he said. "It won't be a two-horse race between Australia and the United States. I mean you look at countires like Great Britain, Japan, the French, the South Africans, they perform very solidly "They've made changes from going to the semis to the finals to lower medals to gold medals. There's a major shift in world swimming."The Australian squad includes multiple world record holders such as Libby Trickett, Leisel Jones and Grant Hackett, while the US-team is dominated by Michael Phelps, who is aiming for an unprecedented eight gold medals. Thompson said that in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Beijing's futuristic venue, the 'Water Cube' where the 32 swimming events will be held, whoever maintains their focus best will win. Swimmers will also have to find a way to cope with an unfamiliar format of morning finals and evening heats. "The people who are able to maintain that focus on their jobs will be the most successful," he said. "They are all going to be good swimmers, and smart swimemrs and fit, so whoever maintains their focus will do well. "And it's not over just one day, it's over nine days. If you have any weakness in your mental state it will make it difficult to succeed." Thompson has been preparing his team for all eventualities, not least the sense of awe and expectation in the Olympic village and at the venue. He said he was drumming it home that keeping a level head was critical. "I think these guys are really taking a lot of it in their stride, taking it a day at a time before they move into the Olympic village," he said. "When they get there the normal things will come into play like nerves. We have to try and keep the level of excitement on an even keel as much as we can."