By Michael Collins
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, March 24. DAY ONE of the IX FINA World Masters Championships in now complete. Only the 800 Free was contested on the first day, but that took 8 hours to complete.
800 Free Highlights
Penny Palfrey, 40 of LTL had the fastest female time of 9:25.97 but came up a mere 2-hundredths short of Susan Heim-Bowen's world record in that age group. Heim-Bowen, 44, finished with the second fastest time of 9:33.07, but is scheduled for surgery in the near future for a shoulder injury.
The third fastest time went to Sue Perkins,31, of the Sea Pirates in Australia with a 9:40.59.
Jane Asher, 71, of Great Britain broke her own 70-74 WR of 12:48.74 by an incredible 16 seconds with a 12:32.21
In the 75-59 age group Liz Wallis of Manly AUS was fast enough to beat the Age Group world record holder June Krauser 14:17.45 – 14:56.83 but she wasn't quite fast enough to take her record time of 14:10.50.
The only American woman to win her age group was Danielle Ogier who took the 50-54 in 10:39.61.
The three fastest men in the 800 free were John Hamilton, 26 of BAF (8:53.15); Alejandro Moreno, 34 of ANV (8:57.13); and Uwe Steinkoetter, 27 of SCHSC (9:02.06).
Graham Johnston, 71 was the only swimmer to set a world record in the event with a 10:45.92, which knocked over 5 seconds of the old record of 10:51.33 for men 70-74, which he set last year.
American age group men dominated the older age groups by winning the 50-54, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-59, 80-84, & 85-89 age groups.
Tod Spieker, 54 of the Olympic Club, won with a 9:38.46. Tom Landis, 60 of OREG Masters swam a 10:29.35 and was just under 3 seconds short of the 60-64 world record.
Jerry Clark, 65, competing for Walnut Creek took the 65-69 in 11:27.41. Graham Johnston is already mentioned above. Win Wilson of NEM took the 75-59 in 13:17.74. James Edwards, also of NEM, swam a 15:35.58 to take the 80-84, and finally James Eubank, 87 of San Diego swam a 16:29.38.
Full results for the 800 can now be found in our Results Section under Masters International .