HAZELWOOD POND, AUSTRALIA, October 13. HOME pond advantage meant everything today in the open water 3,000 meter swim, as Australian swimmers won every men's age group and all but two of the women's. Today was the final day of swimming competition at the 2002 World Masters Games.
The home country swept the Top Two spots in the women's 3K Open Water swim — the competition's final event — at the World Masters Games here today.
Thirty-one year-old Jacqui Robinson came home first in 39:08 to take the 30-34 age group, with triple gold-medalist (200-400-800 frees) Penny Palfry, 40, overall runner-up in 39:52, and, of course, the winner in the 40-44 division.
This duo were the only swimmers to crack the 40:00 barrier but several others came close, including Mexico's Lilly Anzuego Moguel, 26, who clocked
42:11 to win the 25-29 age group; 42-year-old German Tanja Engels' 42:23 and Aussie Karen Maidmont-Wood, also 42, who went a 42:24; Kate Durrant of Victoria, who finished in 43:09 and "fellow" Victorian Natalie Wane, 29, who did a 43:11.
Paul Lemmon, a 35-year-old from New South Wales, made it a clean sweep for the land Down Under as — similar to compatriot Jacqui Robinson on the women's side — he took overall top honors in the men's 3K Open Water swim at the World Masters Games here.
Lemmon finished in 37:58, the only sub 38:00 clocking.
And showing that he can swim events beyond 50 meters, 25-year-old Aussie Jared Clarke, won won the men's 25-29 50 free with a 23.87, finished second overall, first in the 25-29 age group, in the Open Water swim with a nice 38:12 effort.
These two easily won their respective age groups (25-29, 35-39) while third overall and runner-up in his age group was the United States' Igor Vazhenin
(38.15), swimming for his natal country, Russia.
Fourth overall and first in the 40-44 category wsas Victoria's Tony Rodda, who also won a fistful of golds during the pool competition. He was timed in 38:25.
Special mention must be made of the 75-79 age group champ, John Mills, who won four golds in the pool and added a fifth here with his winning 55:25 swim.