By PHillip Whitten
MELBOURNE, Australia, October 8. THE USA's Steve Borowski won two events, just missing the world records in each, and Jane Swaggerty-Hill and Don Hill took home his and hers golds to highligh swimming on Day Two of the swimming competition at the World Masters Games in Melbourne.
200 meter backstroke
The men's 200m backstroke was generally slow, as only three Masters Games marks fell, but there were two near world records in the women's races.
Canada's Bonnie Pronk stroked 3:08.35 to win the 60-64 division, just tweo seconds off the world mark. In the 70-74 age group, Denmark's Grethe Bendsten clocked 3:32.36, four seconds slower than the global standard.
Two Americans emerged as winners. Sunn Smileyt clocked 2:38.16 to win the 30-34 age group, while Norma Bernardi snatched gold in the 80-84 age group with her 5:17.94.
In the 35-39 age group, the top six finishers broke the Games mark, with Australia's Helen Whitford the winner in 2:35.95.
100 meter Freestyle
Hawaii Masters' Steve Borowski had the outstanding time in the men's 100m free, as his 58.99 just missed Rich Abraham's WR of 58.23. Ironically, his time wasn't a Games record.
Two other American men struck gold: DonnHill, whose 1:08.39 was just two seconds off Arizona Masters teammate Ron Johnson's world mark; and Gilbert Young, who won the 80-84 division in 1:30.46.
There were several other outstanding winning swims: Jared Clarke (AUS) went 52.53 in the 25-29 age group; Ricardo Santos (BRA) swam 56.17 in the 40-44 division; Tony Strahan (AUS), whose 1:02.45 was just two seconds off the world mark for men 60-64; and John Mills (AUS) whose winning 1:16.97 was about three seconds off the 75-79 record.
Four Americans took gold in the women's 100m free: Peggy Gross (30-34), who clocked 1:00.70; Kathy Shipman, who won the 40-44 age group in 1:05.01; Jane Hill, whose 1:09.45 was fast enough to win the 50-54 division but was still a second behind her husband, Don's, winning time; and Norma Bernardi, who won the 80-84 age froup in 2:31.44.
Australia's 1972 Olympic star Shanew Gould took the 45-49 age group in 1:02.74, just missing Laura Val's world mark of 1:02.42.
Britain's Judy Wilson took the 55-59 division in 1:11.23, two seconds off her own world record.
50 meter Breaststroke
Breaststroke seems to be the most universal stroke, with winners coming from the greatest number of countries. In today's 50m breast, seven countries were represented in the #1 spot for the men, and eight for women.
Plamen Alexandrov was the only American man to earn gold in the sprint breaststroke, capturing the 40-44 race in a swift 31.16. Egon Henninger of Germany, an East German Olympian, clocked 36.30 to take the 60-64 age group.
There were two very fast swims in the women's 50. Canada's Bonnie Pronk lowered Jayne Bruner's world mark in the 60-64 age group from 41.43 to 40.56. Germany's Dagmar Hilbig swam the second-fastest ever 50 for women 40-44, clocking 34.78. At age 44, she recorded the fastest time in thee entire womedn's event.
Livia Walker was the only American to win gold, taking the 80-84 division race in 1:39.16 when her two Aussie challengers were both DQ'ed.
100 meter Butterfly
US swimmers won two of the men's races, and they turned in the best performances of the event in doing so.
Steve Borowski came ever-so-close to breaking Rich Abrahams' 55-59 global standard once again when he touched in 1:04.12 — 22-hundredths behind the record.
In the 30-34 division, Mike Sorensen recorded a swift 57.87, 1.4 seconds off the world mark.
Only one American earned gold in the women's races. That was Peggy Gross, who swam an outstanding 1:04,74 to capture first in the 30-34 division.
Other top swims included Germany's Angela Zigler who touched in 1:12.18 to take the 45-49 age group, and Britain's Judy Wilson who swam 1:15.51 — less than two seconds outside of her own world mark to take the 55-59 race.