SWIMMING: Fantastic performances by Ross against world’s best

Ross Turner
Ross Turner

Rugby swimmer fourth in World Masters Championships in Russia

Rugby Swimming Club’s Ross Turner followed the top swimmers in the World to Kazan, Russia, for the World Masters Swimming Championships.

These were held in the same pool as the full World Championships, which turned out to be an awesome venue, as Ross took on the World’s best swimmers in the 35-39 age group.

The location meant fewer swimmers had entered than in previous years, and as Ross had moved up an age group, he was hopeful of a top ten finish or maybe two.

The masters range in age from 25, to those in their 90s, some, in fact many are ex internationals.

Some quick internet work, reveals several ex Olympic / World/European champions, and many medallists, some recent, some less so, amongst the competitors across the ages.

His first event was the 100m breaststroke, with Ross having the 6th fastest entry time of all competitors in his age category, and things went entirely to plan, as he recorded a solid 6th place, 15 up from the 21st he claimed in Italy 2012.

His time was 1.10.79, which is excellent for long course, for any swimmer, let alone one who is giving 15 years away to new World Champion Adam Peaty, whom Ross did race and beat a few years ago, not that he has mentioned it.

Ross held a steady pace, and the fact that the winning time was 65.4, off a 30.7 split, meant Ross was confident going into the 50m later in the week.

The following day Ross entered the 50m Fly. Ross is a good fly swimmer, especially over the shorter distances, but he didn’t expect to finish in the top 20 in the world.

He was pleasantly surprised in the extreme to clock a 28.70, for 17th place. The race was won in a new championship best by Aleksci Manzhula, who also won the 50m free in a new world record, he swam for the USSR in the Sydney Olympics.

Next up was the big one, Ross’ favourite event the 50m Breaststroke, again he was ranked 6th going into the final heat.

Ross had a great start and was right up with the leaders until the final 10m, but he thought he had done enough for a podium finish.

Alas a time of 30.75 was just 0.06 off the medals, as he finished an agonising 4th place. Just 2/3s of a second off gold, and a hairs breadth off a top three finish, the top 10 get medals, but the usual gold, silver, bronze are awarded in a medal ceremony.

Initially Ross was hugely disappointed to miss out on a podium, especially by such a small margin, but for a swimmer from such a small club as Rugby with only 150 competitive swimmers to be right up with ex-Olympic swimmers on the world stage is an truly fantastic performance. A performance of which Ross should be hugely proud, as his family and the club are.

RSC are not only looking for swimmers of 7/8/9 years of age, we are also looking to boost our Masters membership, so if you are an ex-swimmer, a new swimmer, or a returning swimmer of more mature years, of any standard please visit rugbyswimmingclub.co.uk and get in touch.