GUSSAGO, Italy, January 27. ALBERTO Montini, named a Swimming World Magazine Masters Swimmer of the Year in 2008, started 2013 right with a short course meters Masters world record today in AICS Trophy meet in the Italian town of Gussago.
Montini swam a 2:22.53 in the 200 breaststroke, erasing the former mark in the 45-49 age group of 2:22.68 set by 1980 Olympian Glenn Mills in 2008. On Saturday, Montini made a push for countryman Rico Rolli's 100 breast world record of 1:04.62, but fell short with a 1:05.80.
Though Montini swam the time today as a 44-year-old, he took advantage of the FINA Masters rule that determines a swimmer's age as of December 31 of the current year. Since Montini will turn 45 on September 7, he is 45 years old for all of 2013 in the eyes of FINA. Many swimmers have taken advantage of this rule, not waiting until they officially enter a new age group to set records.
United States Masters Swimming follows a different rule for determining age in short course yards competition, dictating that a swimmer's age for a particular meet is their age on the meet's first day. USMS follows FINA age rules for short course meters and long course meters.
Montini's record is likely a little bit of redemption, as he lost all three of his short course breaststroke world records in the 40-44 age group last month to Steve West, who had a banner year in 2012 with the distinction of being the oldest male swimmer in history to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials. Montini still holds the long course world records in the 50 and 200 breastrokes in the 40-44 age group.