Records tumbled as the Masters community came together for the final time in 2022 at the Swim Wales Masters Short Course Championships.
A new world record, a pair of British records and a haul of Welsh records were set at Newport’s International Sports Village on Saturday.
Spencer SC’s Amanda Heath etched her name in the history books with a stunning performance in the 100m Breaststroke. Her time of 1:28.03 slashed more than a tenth of a second off her previous world record in the 65-69 age category, despite having competed in the 100 IM and 200 Back in the same session.
Former Team Wales Commonwealth Games swimmer ensured she departed her current age group in style, by breaking her own British record in the 100m Backstroke (25-29) in a time of 1:04.34 (previous record 1:04.51).
The final British record went to Chris Jones of Portsmouth Northsea in the 40-44 category. Chris dipped under the previous 100 Breast record that has stood since 2018 to set a new standard of 1:02.75.
The meet, which was the best attended yet, also attracted the likes of Paralympic gold medallist Sam Hynd, who raced in the 100 IM after a long period away from the sport.
Swim Wales Aquatic Athlete of the Year Helen Gorman was just 0.8 seconds outside her 50-54 world record in the 200 Breast, and she believes the event was a fitting way to end another fantastic year for the Masters community.
She said: “The meet was a fun and friendly way to finish off the Masters season. I personally loved the skins event! Well done to everyone that gave it a go and made it a fun way to finish off the meet. Big thanks to all of the volunteers and officials, especially young volunteer, Abigail Thomas doing the commentary.
“We’ll make changes to the programme next year, including possibly going to two days – certainly making more slots available in the 100 IM so that more swimmers have the option to swim the skins race.”
The skins event brought the day to a close. The winners were Kalon Veale, Totnes (under 50 men) and Simon Wintle, Gloucester (over 50s men) – women’s Danielle Stirrat, Cardiff Masters (under 50) & Helen Gorman, City of Cardiff (over 50).
Home Countries Masters Swimming Management Group Chair Nicola Latty said: “Thanks to the Swim Wales team for a great day once again. The skins event provided a fun end to the year and a couple of close finishes. My personal congratulations go to Rhian Jones for swimming her first ever 200 fly and still smiling afterwards. It was also good to see some of the swimmers from North Wales joining us in Newport.”
The provisional date for the Swim Wales Masters Long Course Championships has been set for the 4-5 March at Wales National Pool Swansea.
There are Masters clubs across Wales accepting new members for anyone looking to get back into swimming or start their aquatic journey. Head over to our Swim Locations page to find clubs in your area!