Jaring Timmerman Becomes First 105-Year-Old Masters Swimmer in History

WINNIPEG, Canada, January 25. THE hundreds of swimmers and fans in the Pan Am Pool yesterday in Winnipeg were treated to a major moment in Masters swimming history, a moment not likely to be repeated or bettered for many years.

Jaring Timmerman became the first person — man or woman – to compete in the 105-109 Masters swimming age group, and therefore set world records in the 50 backstroke and 50 freestyle at the Catherine Kerr Short Course Meters Pentathlon.

Timmerman does not turn 105 until next month, but FINA stipulates that an athlete’s age on December 31 of any year is their age for the entire year. (Many take advantage of this rule, breaking Masters world records before they officially come of age into a new age group.)

Timmerman, who already owns the only Masters world records in short course meters in the 100-104 age group, swam a 3:09.55 in the 50 backstroke. Not that he needs to compare this weekend’s time to his younger self, but Timmerman’s world record in the 100-104 age group is 1:45.59 from 2009.

Timmerman also swam a 2:52.48 in the 50 free Friday. His world record in the 50 free in the 100-104 age group is 1:16.92.

FINA is now forced to create a new age category for Timmerman. At present, no other swimmer appears to be within 10 years of reaching this age group, so the Canadian can enjoy these new standards for a while. And according to media reports, Friday’s swims were his swan songs, as he plans to retire from competitive swimming.