Masters Great, Olympian Anton Cerer Dies in Accident at 90

By Phillip Whitten

CLEVELAND, Ohio, June 11. MASTERS great and two-time Olympian Anton Cerer died after slipping and falling on a pool deck in Cleveland, Ohio, as he prepared to train for the FINA World Masters World Championships in August, according to an announcement by the Slovenian News Agency today.

Cerer, who was the first Slovenian to earn medals at the European Championships, finishing third in the 200 breast in both 1938 and 1947, represented Slovenia at the 1936 and 1948 Olympics. He finished fifth in the 200 meter breaststroke at the '48 Games in London at the age of 32. That was the race that ultimately led to the separation of breaststroke and butterfly five years later, as several of the competitors in the race added a dolphin kick to their breaststroke kick.

As a Masters swimmer, Cerer, who moved to Cleveland more than 50 years ago, represented O*H*I*O Masters. For years he was the world's dominant swimmer in his age group, particularly in the 100 and 200 meter butterfly, 200m breaststroke and 200 and 400m IM. He currently holds long course world records in the 200 and 400m IM for men 85-89 and the short course 200m fly for men 80-84.

Moving up into the 90-94 age group this year, he was expected to rule the longer events at the World Championships at Stanford University.

Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.