SWIMMING: Success at British Masters

Simon Rigg makes a good start in the 50m freestyle
Simon Rigg makes a good start in the 50m freestyle
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Records and medals for swimmers from Rugby

Rugby’s Elaine Bromwich, who swims under Birmingham Masters achieved a World, European and GB record while swimming the breaststroke leg of the 280+ 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay at Sheffield in the ASA Masters Short Course Championships.

The time of 5.59.22 knocked 14 seconds off the old record. She also achieved a European and GB record, again swimming the breaststroke leg in 280+ 4 x 50m Mixed Medley relay. The time of 2.36.64 bettered the old one by three seconds. Both of these swims were in personal best times.

She also came second in 50m Breast PB, 100m Breast, 200m Breast PB and 800m Freestyle knocking 1 min 6 secs off her previous best, competing in the 70/74 age group.

Rugby Swimming Club’s Karen Bates, Ross Turner and Simon Rigg were also at Ponds Forge, Sheffield competing at the most prestigious master swimming event of the year.

Increasing in popularity and standard each year, in some events there were up to 40 heats of ten swimmers across the age range.

The swimmers ranged from pre-masters 18-24 to the 85+, who produced many World, European and GB records.

In the 50m freestyle Simon had the joint third fastest entry time, in his 45-49 agegroup, and was in the next lane to multi record holder Mike Hodgson. Simon was in the race at half way, before Hodgson pulled away to break his own GB record. Simon clocked 25.71, for a bronze medal, only his second sub 26 swim since his return to swimming.

Ross was in an outside lane in the very competitive 30-34 age and continued his recent good form with 24.75, a lifetime best to finish 7th.

Karen swam her lifetime best, finishing very strongly, in 1.14.27, to claim a silver medal in the 100m back.

Also in the evening session Ross swam a lifetime best in a rare 100m backstroke appearance in 64.64, to finish 9th. The winner clocked 60.50, but the next eight were only four seconds apart.

Simon swam outside his comfort zone competing in the 100m IM, finishing 11th, in 1.11.2, a lifetime best, which could be improved with work.

The next session saw the boys hopeful of more success in their specialist event of 50m Breaststroke, and

Karen her specialists event of 200m backstroke. Karen secured a bronze in 2.44.01, only beaten by the current and previous European record holders. In their favoured event, 50m breaststroke Simon actually led at half way, before winning bronze, in 32.81. British record holder Ross, 33, at the upper end of his age group, finished fourth.

Later in the evening, in the 100m breaststroke, Simon clocked 1.16.5, to finish 7th, lack of racing at 100m proving costly. Ross set off at 50m pace and despite a best time for three years, of 66.78, he was pipped into second place.

Sunday saw Karen just miss out on a medal in the 400m IM, despite another age group best time, of 6.00.88. She was third in the 200m fly with another lifetime best time of 2.54.08, taking 6 seconds of her own Midlands record. Her last race was the 50m backstroke, where another fast time of 34.84 was good enough for 5th.

In the 100m freestyle, Simon, despite leading at 75m, faded painfully, to finish 9th overall in 59.85.

All in all six medals, three lifetime bests, several age-group PBs, and some fantastic racing.