Oooh er! 99 y.o. does 50m freestyle in 56 secs!

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Oooh er! 99 y.o. does 50m freestyle in 56 secs!

Post by Don Wright on Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:53 am

This caught my eye when scanning the BBC website this morn, :-


Media captionThis 99-year-old swimmer may have broken a world record
A 99-year-old Australian swimmer appears to have smashed a world record for his age group in the 50m freestyle.

George Corones clocked 56.12 seconds at an official event in Queensland - a new benchmark for the 100-104 age category.

He eclipsed the previous mark, set in 2014, by 35 seconds. It will now be verified by the sport's governing body.

Mr Corones, who is eligible for the record because he turns 100 in April, said he was "quite delighted" and "over the world" by the result.

"It was an exemplary swim for me, well balanced... and I was ready to hit the [wall] at the end very hard with my hand," he told the BBC.

He said he had been overwhelmed by the "roaring" crowd on the Gold Coast on Wednesday. The event, in which he was the sole entrant, had been specifically staged for him to challenge the record.

"We have just witnessed history in the making!" the Australian Dolphins swim team said on its Facebook page.

'It takes a while to get going'
Mr Corones, from Brisbane, said he was a keen swimmer in his youth but only began swimming again aged 80.

"I gave it up at the beginning of the war [World War Two], and I don't think I had a swim of any description until I retired," he said.

"I started swimming again for exercise."


Mr Corones was aiming to beat the previous record of 1:31.19
He said racing "undeniably" challenged him physically, but it was manageable with preparation. On average he swims laps three times a week, and also fits in gym sessions.

"At this age it takes a while to get going... you get exhausted much more easily, but if you do it sensibly, the rewards are astronomical," he said.

He attributed his success to his pacing and technique.

"My first dozen strokes were well balanced and the trick is to just carry it on progressively, putting a little bit of increasing effort in each stroke," he said.

"I did that until the last 10m - I knew I was tired and done - but went on without any disturbance."

The previous record of 1:31.19 was set by British swimmer John Harrison in 2014.

Mr Corones's race took place just before the Australian Swimming Trials for the Commonwealth Games, which will begin on the Gold Coast next month.

Masters Swimming Australia said the record was pending official verification by the International Swimming Federation (Fina).

Mr Corones will challenge the 100m freestyle record on Saturday night, believing he can beat the current mark of 03:23.10, which was also set by Mr Harrison.

"I'm not a young man by any means, but I am really looking forward to it and confident I can do very well," he said.

Reporting by the BBC's Frances Mao

Well After seeing the above maybe I should take up knitting instead of trying to swim!  I scaled the 56 secs for 50m, down to the 20m size of my pool and that works out at just over 22 secs/20m length - and the best I can manage is about 30 secs, at the "youthful" age of almost 82.  The previous Brits record for a 100-104 age group, of 92 secs for 50m freestyle - looks more in my "camp", scaling down to 36.4 secs for 20m -  but look at the age gap twixt 82 and 100!

Just "emerging" from another of my (happily rare) passages through the local hospital's "chest pain protocol" procedures, after a bit of chest pain trouble.  They can't find anything wrong with my "ticker" after various tests - but have put me on calcium blocker pills, yet further medication.  I reckon the recent trouble was triggered by cold sub-zero air getting down into my bronchial tubes and causing the pain.  Forgot to put a muffler over mouth/nose for a short walk in a strong wind - was inhaling cold air through the mouth, 'cos nose was blocked from the usual swimmer's catarrh!  Am "itching" to get back to swimming - but I'll wait till all this recent snowy stuff thaws, and the temperature gets back above zero!

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A sort of P.S. - added on 13/03/18!   It doesn't look as if anyone posts here anymore - perhaps other members have migrated to other swim forums!?  Or possibly we've talked about FS for yonks, and there's not much more that can be said.  I know from "cott..."'s earlier remarks, he was a bit "down in the mouth" about the apparent lack of interest/input here.  However, I'll chunter on with a bit of "low-grade" swim chat - even if am just "talking to myself"!  Am grateful for the topic about increasing DPS, and have made that effort one of my freestyle variants.  A gal in the lane besides me swimming FS at a good pace in our pool's single lane - (says he, observing from his favourite place in the un-roped area next to the lane rope)  - I could see that her lead arm dwelt outstretched for a significant time before dropping to a catch - so as to "screw" the best movement forwards while in a stream-lined attitude.  I tried it myself, instead of my more usual continuous arm action, and was surprised that it certainly made life easier for this "oldie" - much lower energy consumption required, allowing me to get further than hitherto!  OK so maybe it was a lot slower than one would wish - but the reduction in effort certainly made it a more attractive business energy-wise! The reduction in energy-consumption also meant that my usually laboured breathing was more steady and relaxed.   So what have I learnt from this? I think it is that although on the SS forum it was a grave sin to keep that lead arm outstretched over-long after recovery/entry - there is something to be gained by not rushing into that subsequent arm stroke. There must be a "trade-off" somewhere between one's current rate of forward motion while still in a stream-lined attitude with a gradual drop-off in forward momentum, and the start of the subsequent stroke providing additional movement forwards!  That reminds me of a study made into why competitive swimmers pushing off from the wall, should remain in a stream-lined attitude for a short moment (varying from swimmer to swimmer!) before starting their dolphin waggles to increase momentum.  There is something to be gained from staying stream-lined for a brief moment!

However!!! I can remember my efforts to keep up with a much better FS swimmer when I was about 60 - in my old 25m pool at Kettering - but still ignorant then of good technique.  Can remember doing my utmost to stay stream-lined as much as possible during the appropriate stage of the stroke cycle - but then, much to my chagrin the other bloke "whizzed" past me! Sad  OK so he had a bigger "wing-span" than little me, but it was the arm turn-over rate that was the main answer to the difference between us!

Don Wright

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Re: Oooh er! 99 y.o. does 50m freestyle in 56 secs!

Post by Mike A on Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:44 pm

Hi Don, I saw that story too. I'm just glad there's a record that I could actually beat (though obviously it wouldn't count on the slight technicality of my being 49, not 99!). ;-)

A lady from Eastbourne, about 10 miles along the coast from where I live, won a bronze at the World Masters last year in the open water 3km, 65-69 age category. Not quite as speedy as our own Nightcrawler, though! ;-)
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