World Masters Spotlight: Nicolas Granger and Noriko Inada

(L-R): Nicolas Granger, France and Noriko Inada, USA

2017 Top 12 World Masters Swimmers of the Year

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Swimming World Magazine has been recognizing the Top 12 World Masters Swimmers of the Year for the last 14 years. Running from April 2nd through April 7th the staff at Swimming World will be shining a spotlight on the accomplishments of our Top 12 World Masters Swimmers of the Year.

Nicolas Granger, FRA (50-54)

Nicolas Granger started swimming when he was 6 years old, and he never stopped—except, that is, for a two-month period in 1991, when he was receiving treatment for testicular cancer. After that, it was right back to the water.

In his national racing career, he never got over the hump of making an Olympic team. In 1984, he finished 12-hundredths off the qualifying time in the 200 IM. Four years later, he finished fourth at Trials. And when he came back after cancer in 1996, the then-29- year-old finished second in the race, but again off the qualifying time.

But around that point in his life, Granger found Masters.

“I started to swim in Masters in 1993, and my first World Masters Championships was in Montreal in 1994,” he said. “I loved it. The atmosphere, the friendship and the opportunity to travel, meet people and discover new countries by living my passion became my great motivation.”

Granger, who coaches himself, set a whopping 17 world records in 15 events in the men’s 50-54 age group in 2017. In short course, he set marks in the 100-400 free (51.49, 4:04.48), 100-200 back (57.95, 2:07.13), 100 breast (1:04.28), 100 y (56.87) and 100-400 IM (57.69, 4:29.33). In long course, his record-breaking swims included the 100-200-400 free (54.15, 1:58.62, 4:15.93), 100-200 back (1:01.57, 2:14.53) and twice in both the 200-400 IM (2:14.27/2:11.15, 4:50.33/4:45.61).

“Setting a world record is always an incredible experience that I never want to get used to so that I continue to feel the ecstasy,” he said. “2017 was the best season of my career, and I enjoyed each of my races.”

Not included on that record list was the 200 free in short course, where Granger explained that he swam a time of 1:53.78—faster than Rowdy Gaines’ world record of 1:54.61—but the paperwork needed to validate the record was not properly submitted.

But as much as he loves breaking records, Granger’s primary swimming motivations are more pure: “Swimming is really my pleasure, my breath of oxygen. Beating records is not necessary the ultimate goal—what matters is to have fun and enjoy.

“My 82-year-old father is still swimming, so I have a long future ahead of me!”

Noriko Inada, USA (35-39)

Japan’s Noriko Inada was a staple on the competitive swimming scene for several decades, making her Olympic debut in 1992 in the 100 and 200 back. She also competed at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, with her best finish coming in the 100 back ( fth) in 2000.

Following the 2004 Games, Inada retired, but in 2008, she joined the Phoenix Swim Club in the U.S. and attempted a comeback in 2010. In April of 2012, she finished third in the 100 back at Japan’s Olympic Trials—just missing out on a chance to qualify for a fourth Olympic Games.

Since then, Inada has continued swimming and has enjoyed success as a Masters swimmer. “I keep swimming for my health, and I very much enjoy swimming with my teammates,” Inada said.

Now 39, she averages 3,500 to 4,500 yards per day and typically practices six times a week with Phoenix Swim Club, where she also serves as an assistant coach.

This past season, Inada, now representing USA, set two Masters world records—short course 50 back (27.63) and long course 100 back (1:01.75). She earned her second Top 12 World Masters SOY honor, with the rst coming in 2014. She was also recognized as a Top 12 runner-up in 2013 and 2016.



  1. avatar
    Brett Goshert

    Congratulations Coach Noriko! You are an inspiration.

  2. Peter Rainey

    Helen Rainey I’m always against Nicolas at the World Masters. In 2002 I was 2nd to him in the 400 IM and 3rd in 200 IM. I always wondered what about his swimming background. Now I finally know.

    • Helen Rainey

      Wow amazing – yes he was always good at GB Masters champs!!

  3. avatar
    Mozette Humphreys

    Wow Noriko. YOU ROCK!!! But then again, we all know that already. Congratulations!!! You are a true inspiration. We love and admire you more than you know.