MELBOURNE, Oct. 7. AUSTRALIA'S Simon Leighfield, 29, set the only world record on Day One of the World Masters Games in Melbourne. Leighfield blitzed the 200m breaststroke in 2:20.25, slicing four seconds off the old men's 25-29 mark held by Ecuador's Abraham Solano.
Two other swims just missed setting global marks. Steve Borowski, Hawaii Masters, blazed a 27.80 to win the men's 55-59 50 meter butterfly. The time was just 4-hundredths slower than Rich Abrahams' record of 27.76.
Canada's Bonnie Pronk won the women's 60-64 200m breaststroke in 3:16.43. Only she has swum faster — she went 3:14.49 earlier this year.
Pronk also swam the second-fastest 200 IM ever swum in her age group, but her 3:05.28 here did not challenge the 3:00.52 she swam in Canada in March.
Aside from Pronk's swim, both the women's and men's 200 IM was relatively slow, with no American winners. The 50m butterfly, however, was another story.
Three American women and three American men won gold in the one-lap sprint. In the 30-34 age group, the USA went 1-2 as Peggy Gross out-touched Sunny Smiley by 5-hundredths in 29.69. Kathy Shipman won the 40-44 age group in a strong 30.46, while Jane Swaggerty-Hill took the 50-54 division in 33.13.
Aside from Borowski's win, the US boasted winners in Mike Sorensen, who took the 30-34 age group in 26.28, the event's fastest time, and Jeno Arts, who aced the 65-69 age group in 35.63.
In the women's 45-49 division, Aussie Olympic star Shane Gould out-touched Germany's Angela Zingler, 30.88 – 30.89. Zingler own the WR at 30.30. Judy Wilson of Britain won the 55-59 division in 33.14; only she has gone faster (WR 32.34). In the 65-69 age group, Hisoko Sato of Japan clocked 40.30, about a second slower than Gail Roper's global standard of 39.18.
Brazilians Helio Celidonio and Ricardo Santos clocked 26.68 and 26.94, respectively, to take the men's 35-39 and 40-44 races.
Livia Walker was the only American woman to take gold in the 200m breaststroke, clocking 7:40.78 to win the women's 80-84 race.
Australia's Jan Fowler posted a strong 2:54.47, which aws still 12 seconds off the USA's Caroline Krattli's world markin the women's 40-44 age group.
Bulgarian Olympian Plamen Alexandrov was the only American man to strike gold in the 200 breast, posting a 2:33.80 to take the 40-44 division.
Australia's Mike Moloney just missed breaking the 60-64 WR with his 2:58.92. The record is held by Britain's Tom Walker at 2:58.37.