18 Jul 2012

The 14th World Masters Championships

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The World Masters Championships were held for the second time in Riccione, north east Italy. 200 competitors from all aquatic disciplines: swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo converged on this popular coastal resort, where temperatures reached 35 C.

The oldest competitor was an Australian 95 year old lady, cheered at the end of every race by the crowds of 25 to 90 year olds!  “Master swimmers never die – they just float away”!

The facilities included two 50m. pools, one indoor and one outdoor, diving pool and two 25m. warm up /swim down pools. 2000 took part in a 3K Open Water swim in the clear warm Adriatic Sea on the final day of the Championships.

Marlins’ swimmer, Jenny Ball, swimming in her last year of the 70-74 years age group and therefore competing against ‘younger’ swimmers and not surprisingly, placing in the second half of the group. Standards are very high at World level, where medals are awarded to the top ten finishers. In Open Water, however, only six are awarded, when Jenny came a very close 7th, just 14 seconds behind the 6th finisher.

Many friendships are renewed and made from across the globe, all hoping to meet again at the next Championships, held every two years, in Montreal, Canada.

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