Jim Ballard Sets 45-49 World Masters Record at Gay Games

SYDNEY, December 5. JIM Ballard of the West Hollywood Aquatics Masters set a world record to highlight the swimming competition at the Gay Games, held at the Olympic Aquatic Centre in Sydney, Australia, November 3-8.

Ballard's time of 1:03.56 for the 100 meter (long course) backstroke eclipsed Tom Wolf's world and US standard of 1:03.68 set two years ago.

The meet attracted more than 1,300 swimmers from 24 countries, with men making up about three-quarters of the swimming participants. The U.S. was heavily represented and dominated the victory stand. The 30-34 through 45-49 men's age groups were very deep, while the older age groups had very few participants.

The meet was notable for having every event, including the 400 free and medley relays and the 800 free relay for men, women and mixed.

In addition to Ballard's mark, three American relay records were set — all by the san Francisco Tsunami club. The Tsunami 120-159 team of Dan Veatch, Corey carlisle, Geoff Glaser and Scott Robinson clocked 3:46.03 for the 400m free relay and 8:13.69 for the 800. The 160-199 squad consisting of Stephen Martel, Brian Fitzgibbons, Bart McDermott and Todd Oakes swam a US record 3:52.36 for the 400 free relay.

Three European marks were also established, all by Holland's Rob Weyhencke in the 50-54 age group. The dutchman recorded continental standards of 1:08.79 for the 100m back, 2:32.65 for the 200 back and 2:27.73 for the 200 IM.

Veatch, 37, a member of the 1988 US Olympic team was outstanding, setting Games records in the men's 35-39 age group in the 200 free (2:01.08), 800 free (8:56.10), 200 back (2:14.16) and 200 IM (2:26.49).

Jeff commings, a member of the 1991 US Pan Am team, set four Games marks in the 25-29 age group, including a swift 1:05.80 in the 100m breaststroke.

William Grant of St. Louis, at 89 the oldest competitor at the meet, set twwo Games records in the 85-89 division.

–Phil Whitten

Link to complete results below.