Finnish Masters Highlighted By Quick Swimming: Ohlsson, Virtanen Lead the Way -- April 15, 2005
GODBY, Finland, April 15. AT the Finnish Masters Championships last month, a number of individuals packaged stellar performances, including Tommy Rundgren. Competing in the 35-39 age group, Rundgren zipped to victories in three different strokes.
In addition to winning the 50 (24.28) and 100 (52.81) freestyle events, Rundgren took top honors in the 50 backstroke (29.38) and the 50 breaststroke (31.67). His quadruple wins were actually topped by the five triumphs of Margareta Rainer in the 55-59 division.
Rainer collected freestyle wins in the 50 (32.55), 100 (1:11.07) and 400 (5:29.05) distances and also placed first in the 100 individual medley (1:26.98) and 200 individual medley (3:12.61). So impressive was Rainer that her 50 free win arrived by nearly seven seconds.
Margit Ohlsson also had a quality showing, setting two European Masters marks for women 60-64. Her continental records came in the 50 back, where her 36.80 just missed the world record of 36.38 by Japan's Sakoto Takeuji, and the 200 back, where her 3:00.85 was exactly four seconds slower than Canadian Bonnie Pronk's standard set in 2002. Ohlsson might have gone faster in the 200 back had she been pushed, but she won her age group by 1:30 over the second place finisher.
Ohlsson also bested the field in the 100 IM in a very swift 1:24.14.
Janne Virtanen (40-44) was unstoppable on the men's side, where he picked up gold in the 50 free with a sizzling mark of 23.81, just 6-hundredths off the world record held by Sweden's Joakim Sjoholm. Virtanen also emerged victorious in the 50 backstroke (28.72) and the 100 freestyle (54.39).
In the 25-29 age group, Anne Hiltunen and Aki Sirkka were the class of the competition. Hiltunen bettered her female opposition in the 50 free (28.53), 50 breast (36.21), 50 butterfly (30.72) and the 100 I.M. (1:09.30). As for Sirkka, he was first to the wall in the 100 I.M. (1:00.86), 200 breaststroke (2:30.21), 200 butterfly (2:16.37), 200 backstroke and the 200 I.M.
Results: Finnish Masters