FINA World Championships Budapest – August 2017

Report by Caroline Makin, Club Captain




Two of our Vikings crew Caz Makin and Andreas Falkenau headed back to Europe where they originally came from to attend the 17th FINA World Mastes Swimming Championships in Budapest for the swimming events held from 10-20 August 2017!

Caz headed off to Lake Balaton first (the largest lake of central Europe, located in central Hungary about 80 km southwest of Budapest) to compete in the 3k Open Water Swim event along with her swimming pal, Sandra Rogers from Seaside Pirates club in Sydney.

The venue of the open water event was a lovely town Balatonfüred on the northern shore of the lake. The location was fabulous, and the event was exceptionally well organised, with strict entry and marshalling times within the starting areas at the venue.

Caz and Sandra both swam on the 2nd day of the three days of the open water swimming competition, which proved to be the most challenging day as far as conditions were concerned!  There was a large chop on the lake that day due to windy weather and the 1.8k straight first leg out against the chop to the first buoy meant a  very tough first half to the race.

Caz placed 23rd from 67 competitors in the F45-49 age group and Sandra placed 11th from 52 competitors in the F50-54 age group. The ladies celebrated in traditional Aussie style with a beer and wearing their Australia shirts!

[Open Water Results]

A couple of days later Caz headed up to Budapest city for the start of the pool swimming competition.  The pool events took place across four pools in two venues.

The main new indoor Duna Arena (which is where the FINA World Elite Championships were held) is truely a state of the art aquatic complex, conforming to the expectations of world championship level. The main ‘A’ Arena pool was a spectacular 10-lane 50m facility and a secondary 8-lane 50m ‘B’ pool was also used for racing.  There was also a 50m outdoor pool and a diving pool for warm up facilities.

The second venue was the outdoor Margaret Island Hajós Alfréd complex which houses Hungary’s first indoor swimming pool (a lovely 33.3 yard pool built in 1930), a 25m outdoor pool in addition to the two lovely 50m outdoor competition pools (one 10-lane and one 8-lane). The Hajós complex is tremendous and there was an exceptionally good atmosphere there throughout the days of the pool competition.

Caz took part in the following pool events over four days of swimming: 800m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 400m IM and 200m IM. Caz achieved best rankings in the F45-49 age group of 23rd from 63 in the 800m Freestyle and 34th from 84 in the 100m Freestyle events.

Andreas took part in the 200m Backstroke, 200m IM, 100m Butterfly and 200m Butterfly. Andreas achieved best rankings in the M50-54 age group of 37th from 45 in the 100m Butterfly and 23rd from 32 in the 200m Butterfly.

Caz and Andreas finally coincided for one event, the 200m IM and were able to get a “team” pic. What a fantastic experience for these two Europeans turned Aussie!! What amazing pools and such a cool city Budapest is … they spent time enjoying the beer too much and a bit of outdoors swimming whilst Canberra was in the middle of winter!

[Pool Results]

Andreas spent time with his daughter over in Europe visiting his home country of Germany as well as the Czech Republic.

Caz spent time visiting her family in the UK and also got to catch up with her sister Philippa and the swimmers from the East Leeds Swimming Club whilst she was over in Budapest and spent most of her time hanging out with them and the crew from Seaside Pirates club in Sydney during the days at the pool and in the evenings socialising.

The whole experience of being involved in the World Masters Swimming Championships was fabulous especially to be taking part in such a high-level international swimming event.

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