Monday 17 December 2018

Age is only a number - 99-year-old swimmer breaks world record at Commonwealth Games trials

The 99-year-old smashed the previous record by 35 seconds. Getty
The 99-year-old smashed the previous record by 35 seconds. Getty

Nick Mulvenney

A 99-year-old Australian swimmer has smashed a world record for his age group at this week’s Commonwealth Games trials in Queensland.

George Corones, who will celebrate his 100th birthday next month, shaved a good chunk of time off the 50 metres long course freestyle world, eclipsing the previous record by 35 seconds.

The 99-year-old Victorian was the only competitor in the 100 to 104 years men's masters category and set a time of 56.12 seconds for a single length of the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre pool which will host the swimming at the April 4-15 Games.

Wednesday's race was staged before the trials proper especially to allow Corones to attempt to break the 100-104 age group record of one minute 31.19 seconds set in 2014 by Briton John Harrison.

The Australian had been unable to claim previous short course masters world records because of the lack of automated operating equipment at the pool where he swam the times.

Corones told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2013 that he swam as a youngster before World War Two “stopped things”, returning to the sport at the age of 80.

George Corones dives off the blocks. Getty
George Corones dives off the blocks. Getty

“It was an exemplary swim for me, well balanced... and I was ready to hit the [wall] at the end very hard with my hand,” he told the BBC.

“I gave it up at the beginning of the war [World War Two], and I don't think I had a swim of any description until I retired,” he added.

“I started swimming again for exercise.”

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