Courtesy of FINA World Masters Championships, Balatonfüred, Hungary.

Masters swimmers competed in a 3 km one loop competition on August 10th in Balatonfüred, Hungary at the 17th FINA Masters World Championships.

Athletes 55 years and over raced on Day One of the open water swimming events. Some of the results include the following:

Male 55-59 year age category:
1. Arnaldo Perez (PUR) 38:41.4

2. John de Mestre (AUS) 39:27.3

3. Karsten Dellbrugge (GER) 39:41.6

4. Bruno Souviraa-Labastie (FRA) 41:00.8

5. Vladlen Nesvetaev (RUS) 41:37.5

6. Laszlo Hajdu (HUN) 42:03.3

7. Rinat Gilyazov (RUS) 42:37.7

8. Tal Snunit (ISR) 42:41.9

9. Gianpaolo Cantoni (ITA) 42:43.9

10. Nick Parkes (GBR) 42:45.6

Female 55-59 year age category:
1. Heidi Steinacher (AUT) 44:58.0

2. Dymphna Morris (IRL) 46:02.7

3. Amanda Duggan (AUS) 46:43.8

4. Claudia Adel Carrapatoso (BRA) 47:39.8

5. Tanja Zewko Engels (GER) 48:57.3

6. Rita Lazar (HUN) 49:13.0

7. Patty Verhagen van der Helm (NED) 50:04.6

8. Salima Bouayad Agha (FRA) 50:12.9

9. Peta Harvey (AUS) 50:13.8

10. Ilona Radermacher (GER) 50:15.2

Dr. Tanja Zewko Engels was able to compete after a series of setbacks (a broken neck in 2011 and a retinal detachment in 2015). “But I am back in open water swims and enjoy life,” said the sports medical doctor.

The broken neck happened in a wave while body surfing in Australia. I was very lucky as only two neck vertebrae were involved and compressed. However, it took me months to move my neck and I could not even swim. Now, I prefer swimming in the ocean or the lake to avoid any turns and jumps. In Hungary, the conditions were warm (28°C water and 37°C air) and too warm for me, but I was very happy because I could participate with my neck handicap.”

The oldest swimmers in the competition included Mae Waldie of Canada (born 1935) who won the women’s 80-84 year old division in 1:22:39.8, and John Davey of Australia (born 1932) from the Victorian Masters who finished in 1:27:31.6, and Steve Mullins (born 1932) from the Illinois Masters who finished in 1:30:36.4.

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