By Stephen J. Thomas
SYDNEY, September 7. THE irrepressible Aussie Masters swimming machine Jenny Whiteley splashed out two more short course world records today in a brilliant display at her home club pool of Ryde, the venue for water polo at the Sydney Olympics.
The unassuming 45-year-old, who had swam at this club in the shadow of Olympic legend Shane Gould as a tender teen in the early ‘70’s, lifted her world record total to eight for the year.
Today she was targeting the 50m free going into the meet with her Aussie record of 28.24 not far off American Jacki Hirsty’s December 2000 mark of 28.06. No problem. Whiteley raced to a brilliant 27.77, cutting almost half a second off her previous best and 0.29 off the world record.
Whiteley said of her performance, “it was the first race on the program so I thought I had it in me today to break the record, the time was a bit of a bonus.”
She already holds the world short course marks in the 100m (1:01.42) and 200m (2:11.09) freestyle.
In late July, Whiteley had clocked 2:36.44 to lower the 200m individual medley global standard by 0.16 seconds (held American Danielle Ogier by 0.16 seconds). In the final event of this meet she powered home in her two strongest legs to slash 2.58 seconds off her six-week-old record to touch in 2:34.02 adding this to her 100m IM record set three weeks ago. It will be interesting to see if she has anything left for the State Championships at the beginning of October.
Two national records were set at the meet in the 200m individual medley. David King, Whiteley’s training partner, set a new Aussie record in the 50-54 age group clocking 2:33.81 and Paul Lemmon from Ettalong Pelicans went 2:17.69 in the 35-39 age group.