Spencer Swimmers returned from the 2017 World Masters Swimming Championships in Budapest with a total of 5 golds, 7 silvers, 5 bronzes and 7 pewter (4th-6th place) medals, plus 5 British records.
For the second time in its history, the Competition was held at the same location and immediately after the FINA Elite Aquatics Championships. It’s a successful strategy and the city of Budapest was well prepared for a month of world class performance in the water. The facilities were outstanding, with 4 x 50m competition pools being run simultaneously for the Masters, the age groups rotating between the main Duna Arena, which had been purpose built for this year’s Championships, and the outdoor Margaret Island complex in the middle of the Danube. This did mean that it was difficult to watch Team Mates’ races, but on the positive side, the daily competitions were finished by early afternoon.
Two of Spencer’s golds were won by Diane Ford.
Di narrowly missed out on the “triple triple”, having won the 50, 100 and 200 breast in Montreal (2014) and Kazan (2015). Swimming in her final of year of the 70-74 category, Di was delighted with golds in the 100 and 200 and a silver in the 50 this year. She also picked up a 4th place medal in the 280+ Mixed Medley Relay.
Vying for the heaviest medal collection were Greg Kahn and Amanda Heath, who brought home six apiece, but it was Greg’s 4 British records that tipped the scales!
Greg (45-49) kicked off the Meet by knocking 3 seconds off his 200 backstroke British Record from London to win the gold medal with ease. However, the competition hotted up in the 50 and 100 back and it took World and Championship records to prevent him tripling up. His second record came in the 100 fly, where he raced to bronze medal position. The remaining records and medals came in the 120+ relays, teaming up with Jason Lawson (breast), Jack Marriott (fly) and Freddie White to win silver in the medley and 4th place in the free.
Amanda had to wait for the penultimate day for her gold, and swam a tactical 200 breast, overtaking the leader on the third length and sprinting home on the final 50. She had already picked up bronzes in the 60-64 100 breast and 200 and 400 IM. She was 5th in the 50 breast and swam the fly leg on the 280+ Mixed Medley for 4th place with Nigel Salsbury, Di Ford and Tony Cherrington.
Jack Marriott, pictured (right) at Duna with Jason Lawson broke a 21 year old British record to win the 25-29 50 fly in style from an outside lane. His 24.27 broke the record set in Sheffield when GB hosted the Worlds in 1996.
Grace Isaac was serenaded with “Happy Birthday to you” at the medal ceremony as she celebrated her 85th birthday by winning silver in the 100 back. She tripled up in the 50 and 200.
The final bronze was won by Tony Cherrington in the Open Water. Tony is pictured (right) with Nigel Salsbury, Amanda Heath and Di Ford following the presentation of the medals and diplomas for relays.
The remaining top 6 pewter medals were won by Nigel Salsbury – 4th in 50 back and 6th in 100 back, Geoff Stokes – 5th in 200 free and Morris Dick – 6th in 200 breast (pictured below).
In total 24 Spencer swimmers travelled to Budapest – most were very impressed and will, no doubt, be back for the European Championships in 2020: Jess Campbell, Laura Mason, Diane Rochford, Claudia Goldschmidt, Sara Luder, Deborah Lacy, Abba Newbery, Suzanne Maidment, Jessica Rathke, Michael Barnett, Simon Berrey, John Fenemore, Cristian Rentsch, in addition to those mentioned above.