Report by Caroline Makin, Club Captain and Anne Smyth, Head Coach
The World Masters Games 2017 took place at the end of April 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. The World Masters Games takes place ever four years and this year saw 28,000 participants from 106 countries for 10 days of 28 sports at 48 venues with a whopping 21,000 medals awarded.
We should congratulate and acknowledge our small team of swimmers who competed in pool swimming at The Sir Owen G. Glen National Aquatic Centre which is part of the AUT Millenium Stadium Complex, and also in the open water swimming at Takapanu Beach. It was a wonderful event where all competed under the spirit of the Games’ motto “For the love of Sport”.
Some Vikings were fortunate to come away with medals and all had good swims. It was a competitive but relaxed event where you could meet and chat with swimmers from around the world.
The racing was done as separate Female and Male events, and for the 200m, 100m and 50m events the top ten fastest in each age groups swam in the final heats together. This made for great racing and spectating!
Pam Munday (400 IM – Gold, 200 BU – Silver, 200 BR – Silver, 200 IM – Bronze, 240+ NSW Mixed Medley Relay)
David Bale (S9 Multi-Class Category: 400 FR, 200 FR, 100 FR, 100 BU, 50 BU – Gold)
Caroline Makin (800 FR – Bronze)
Anne Smyth (2.5k Open Water – Silver)
John Collis (100 BR – Silver)
Jeanette Droop, Jill Blomeley, Joan Bratton, Troy Watkins and Ron Watkins all recorded some good swims in very competitive age groups, featuring in many final heats. Jill also competed in Half Marathon!!
They even had Backstroke starting wedges to use, which was very exciting for the Backstrokers! …. Apparently Masters Swimming Australia have just announced that they will not be implementing Backstroke starting wedges within masters swimming, which is rather disappointing as they were great to use!
Outside the pool, Auckland was buzzing with athletes and supporters everywhere … instantly recognisable by their WMG backpacks!
On the 30th of April, the closing ceremony put an end to a 10-day festival of single biggest multi-sport event on earth. At the closing ceremony the tournament flag was passed on from Auckland to Kansai, the venue hosting the next WMG.
The WMG organisers are committed for the next four years to make that event as attractive as ever in 2021. For more information follow the WMG 2021 Kansai Official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wmg2021/ and website at http://www.wmg2021.jp/en/.
So that gives us all something to aim for — always good to have a goal!