HAMBURG, Germany, Feb. 23. SWEDEN'S Glen Christiansen smashed two Masters world records for men 45-49 within a space of 15 minutes in a short course meters Masters meet in Hamburg, Germany today.
Chrsitiansen, 45, who works as a coach in Hamburg, began by clocking 30.63 for the 50 meter breaststroke, obliterating the standard of 31.71 set by Germany's Thomas Paehr in December 2000.
In fifteen minutes, he was back on the blocks again.
One minute nine seconds (1:09.00) later, he had lowered the WR of 1:09.44 set by the USA's Bob Strand in December 1995.
On March 17, Christiansen will be shooting to lower the 50 meter record below the 30-second barrier, though he told swiminfo: "I'll settle for 30-low."
But he'll be establishing an even tougher mark for future swimmers to shoot at. When he stands on the blocks in his hometown of Goteborg, Sweden, Christiansen will be starting his fourth decade of qualifying for and competing at the Swedish National Championships.
Not the Masters Championships, mind you. The Swedish National Championships!
A 1980 and '84 Olympian, Christiansen first qualified for and swam at the Swedish Nationals in 1972. He's been doing so ever since. Along the way, he's won more than a few races, and set the Swedish record in the 100m (lc) breast at 1:03. This year's appearance will mark 31 years of competing at his nation's national championships.
The event has become something of a national happening. Christiansen has gotten big-name sponsors, including Porsche: He will drive up from Hamburg in a brand new 2002 Porsche. Other sponsors include Lumen sunglasses, Sweet´s Konfektyr (a candy company) and Tom
Tailor (a men's fashion company), which is giving him four dress suits to wear, one for each day at Nationals.
His friends have formed a fan club: "Gamle Glens Supporter Klubb" ("Old Glen' Support Club) and will wear T-shirts at the meet saying:
The head official at the meet, who has officiated at all the meets in the past 30 years, will also be wearing a T-shirt.
Said Christiansen: "We had ugly, orange shirts made, so that all will notice. Afterwards, there will be
champagne, of course, with all my fans and friends to celebrate."
Among those expected to attend the celebration and wear the ugly orange shirts are world record-holder Therese Alshammar, Olympic champion Lars Frolander, Christiansen's coaches, including his first coach, and his parents.