Okanagan Masters and Vernon Masters Swim Clubs showed their strength in the recent 15th FINA World Masters Championships in Montreal.
No less than eight of the 10 swimmers participating placed within the first 10 in a number of events. Gold medals were won by Conny Stamhuis (80-84) in the 50m breaststroke and Betty Brussel (90-94) in the 400m freestyle. Brussel also brought home silver medals in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and 200 freestyle.
Stamhuis added to her medal count by taking fourth in the 100 back and fifth in the 50 and 200 back, and 50 free.
Kelowna’s Carmelle Guidi-Swan (40-44) narrowly missed her silver in the 200m fly by two tenths of a second, placing third in both the 100 and 200 fly and breaking the B.C. record in both instances.
Bronze medals were also earned by Vernon’s Hella Versfeld (60-64) in the 100 back, and Mike Stamhuis (60-64) in the 200 back and 200 freestyle. Canadian records were broken by Stamhuis in the 800 free (fourth) and Hella Versfeld in the 400 free (sixth).
Other swimmers who placed within the top-10 within their age groups were Ross Carviel (80-84), Mira Grypink (80-84) and Désirée Henke (25-29). Brent Hobbs (45-49) and Nick Rabinovitch (40-44), both just missed out on a 10th place.
FINA officially created the Masters movement about 25 years ago, the first edition being held in 1986 in Tokyo, Japan. The second and third editions of the championships included swimming events only.
But since 1990 it incorporates FINA’s five disciplines: Swimming, syncro swimming, diving, open water swimming and water polo.
Participation at FINA World Masters is obtained by meeting FINA standard qualifying time for events.