Friday, June 17, 2022

World, European & British Records Tumble on opening day of British Masters Championships

The 2022 British Masters Championships kicked off in spectacular fashion with World, European and British Records obliterated on the opening day in Aberdeen.

Amanda Heath of Spencer Swim Team was part of the world record breaking 4x100m mixed medley (X240) from Spencer Swim Team. The quartet of Heath, Greg Kahn, Clive Benson and Esther Iseppi touched home in 4:52.45, over five seconds faster than the previous records.

Heath then went onto break her own world record in the 200m breaststroke, with a time of 3:12.63. She said of her performance,

“I’m just so pleased with that. It’s faster than I swam in the previous age group, so I was secretly targeting to go under what I’d swum before. It’s my own world record that I broke, but my target was to swim faster than in the 60-64 age group and that’s just smashed it. And I swam that time here in Aberdeen five years ago, so I’m just so pleased, absolutely delighted.”

Asked if she had set herself targets for the season, Heath said,

“I started off wanting to break the world record then I wanted to break it again and today I definitely wanted to go faster than the previous age group. I’m just astounded. It’s so lovely to be back swimming after so long and we are just so delighted to be here and that’s part of what motivates everyone to swim well because they’re so happy to be back swimming again.”

Helen Gorman (City of Cardiff) also broke the 200m breaststroke world record in the 50-54 age group, taking victory in 2:44.66. She said of her performance,

“I had a time in mind to do today and that was quicker so I’m really pleased with that. I used to be very time-goal orientated but two years of Covid including 10 months of pool closures in Wales, I just take every opportunity I can and hope that maybe each time I’ll go a little bit quicker.

“On that swim I could hear the crowd from halfway. I didn’t think I was going that hard on the third 50 then I turned with a length to go, and I could hear everyone. It really makes a difference, it’s lovely. The last time I came here I swam dreadful on my breaststroke but did a really fast 100 free. Everyone talks about this being a great pool. I did a podcast in the lead up to this event and told everyone it was a great pool so thought I’d better come here and swim fast.

“I’d really like to express my thanks to everyone for putting on a really good event, we’ve got three days to really enjoy the community of being able to swim.”

One of the busiest athletes of the day was 81-year old Michael Read of Brighton. He started his racing with the 1500m freestyle, then went onto the 400m IM and finished with the 50m freestyle. He said of his efforts,

“I’m just really enjoying myself. It’s lovely to be here and this is a beautiful venue. It’s so nice to meet old friends, and the older they are and the less they do the better I enjoy it. And of course, you’ve got to be in it to win it. You live in hope in this world and there isn’t much left when you think of it.

“I was aware of everyone cheering me home in the 400 IM and the funny thing is years ago I used to clap the ‘oldies’ and the last man home and now I find they’re doing it for me for which I am truly grateful for.

“It’s such a wonderful sport. I’ve been doing it for eight decades and everyone should do it, can do it and must do it. I know there’s a crisis in the world but if we can keep people healthy this has got to be one of the best ways of doing it.”

Records broken on day one were:

World Records:

Amanda Heath (Spencer Swim Team) 200m breaststroke (65-69) 3:12.63

Helen Gorman (City of Cardiff) 200m breaststroke (50-54) 2:44.66

Mixed 4x100m medley (Spencer Swim Team X240 -Greg Kahn, Amanda Heath, Clive Benson, Esther Iseppi) 4:52.45                                                                                                                                     

European Records

Julie Hoyle (Harrogate) 100m backstroke (60-64) 1:16.63

Erland Alstad  (Norway) 400m IM (55-59) 5:18.05

Alyson Fordham (Bishop Stortford) 50m freestyle (66-69) 31.13

Michael Hodgson (Woking) 50m freestyle (55-59) 25.44

Mixed 4x100m medley (Woking X200 – Michelle Ware, Michael Hodgson, David Bryant, Jennie Clark) 4:36.62

Women’s 4x200m freestyle (Gateshead & Whickham W240 – Judith Pearson, Verity Dobbie, Joan Edwards, Muala Muir-Cochrane) 10:53.41

British Records

Greg Kahn (Spencer Swim Team) 100m backstroke (50-54) 1:03.84

Christopher Jones (City of Cardiff) 200m breaststroke (40-44) 2:24.03

Meghan Byrne (Barnet Copt) 400m IM (20-24) 5:06.20

Helen Sadler (Trafford Metro) 50m freestyle (50-54) 28.43

Michael Hodgson (Woking) 100m freestyle (55-59) 57.37

Men’s 4x200m freestyle (City of Sheffield M200 – Jonathan Saunders, Timothy Gleeson, Ian Swift, Jamie McHale) 9:09.29

Mixed 4x100m freestyle (Woking X200 – Michelle Ware, Michael Hodgson, David Bryant, Jennie Clarke) 4:06.56

Men’s 4x50m freestyle relay (Warrender Baths Club M240 – Jason Kenney, Ian McKay, Keith Johnston, Mark Jones) 1:52.58

The draft programme for the event can be found HERE.

Results will be on the Swim Scotland website HERE.