Competition News

Event Report: FINA World Masters 2010

NZMS swimmer Kirsten Cameron describes the 2010 FINA World Masters championships, held in Goteborg, Sweden, and provides a summary of the results achieved by swimmers at the meet.




First impressions on arriving in Goteborg are of a friendly, compact, laid back city.  The weather was pleasant – more like a Wellington summer so not overly hot but pleasant enough.  It has the most superb public transport network of buses and trams, which was free for all Masters participants.   Only thing to be aware of when first arriving was that in Europe the cars drive on the other side of the road and there were plenty of cyclists to watch out for on top of the buses and trams which seemed to go in every direction.  Crossing the road was no straightforward task!

2010 FINA World Masters Championships

The Championships themselves were well organised with next to no queues at accreditation – due the accreditation being at various facilities and the staggered starts of the various aquatic sports, and all the events ran pretty smoothly.  The online system for registering, entering and booking ran pretty smoothly, the organisation of accommodation and the online real-time results were great. The only negatives were the lack of toilets at all facilities and the lack of spectator space at the pools.  The warm up and warm down facilities were a little inadequate – one 25m pool with six narrow lanes at each venue – very difficult.  The worst part was that the two main 50m event pools were a 20 minute tram ride apart so watching others compete wasn’t easy especially if they were of the opposite sex and in the same event!  All FINA World Championship events are swum same sex only in each race/event, so a particular male event will be held at one pool, the female event at the other - often alternating venues daily.


The competition pools themselves were nice.  The indoor pool was the superior pool (obviously), good depth and a nice feel to it.  The outdoor pool was lovely for simply being an outdoor pool, although shallow and with narrow lanes.  The outdoor pool actually had the better spectator space with a grandstand of sorts put up.  (And by the end of the week a few extra porta-loos…..)

So it all began on Saturday 31st July with the 800m free.  Men were in the outdoor pool at Lundby, and the women in the indoor pool at Valhalla.  Sid Salek was the first NZ’er up and finished 4th.  Fritz Bohme was next and finished 9th, while the first woman at Valhalla was Patricia Owens-Bohm who finished 20th.  Back out to the men’s pool where Ben Van Dyke won his event, and then the final race of the day was me back at Valhalla.  For me it was one of those races where it felt wrong from the second I dived in, but I still managed to win which was great.


As that was the last race of the day, the pool was open to all swimmers at the conclusion of the swim.  As I started my warm down I felt like I was watching penguins all plunging into the ocean off the side of an iceberg in Antarctica.  Within a couple of minutes the pool was completely chocker with all these men trying to get a bit of 50m swimming in before racing there the next day.   So much for my warm down!

Sunday 1st August was the 200bk, 100fr and 100br.  Women outdoors, men indoors.  The Bohme’s were again racing, but again didn’t get to see each other’s races as both were in the 200bk.  Fritz finished 8th and Patricia 9th.  The 100fr saw a few NZ’ers competing.  First up Ben Van Dyke who finished 3rd – a mere 6/100s of a second behind Perth man Graham Croft.  Per Henrik Enberg and Mark Weldon both raced next with Per Henrik 56th and Mark 4th.  Meanwhile back at the outdoor pool the women’s 100m had Lindy Kelly who, recovering from injury pulled off a creditable 18th.  I won my race, which is surprising given that I am a distance swimmer!   And considering I had warmed up in the toddlers’ pool – the choice was 20 people in a narrow 25m lane or the toddlers’ pool.  It worked well enough!  The 100br had Fritz Bohm finish 11th Per Henrik finish 56th again.  Honorary New Zealander Richard Korhammer swimming for Roskill was 23rd.

Monday 2nd for me was the best day.  Not only did I have a great race but it was the day to see the largest number of NZ’ers in action.  The 400IM was first up, men outdoors and women indoors.  Sid Salek started things off well with a second.  This was followed by Jo Matthews’ first swim of the meet in the indoor pool finishing 7th with a New Zealand record.  Next event was the 200fr where Patricia Owens Bohm swam a great time to give her 19th.  I was next with my race against former Olympic Champion Claudia Poll.  I won by 7/100s of a second.   Only thing was I whacked the wall so hard at the end that I bruised the bone in my elbow – hey I won, and at the time I said it was worth it.  Six weeks later I am not so sure as I am still suffering for it....


50fly was next with Jo Matthews finishing 6th.  Unfortunately I missed her race as was in the First Aid room, but at least Mum and Dad saw it.

Now one other thing that was done very well in Goteborg was that every event had a medal presentation.  There may be some people who have no interest in getting their medals, feeling that they are silly, or that they just take up room in suitcase etc.  However, personally I think that if you have won a medal then an effort should be made to collect it, preferably in the medal presentation.  Not only is it good manners but it also shows respect for your fellow competitors who also make this effort.

Having said that though, I missed the 200M medal presentation as there was a delay with the results.  I did give my apologies to my fellow medal winners telling them why I was missing it (to get out to the outdoor pool to watch the men’s 50fly – team spirit and all that).  Unfortunately what I didn’t know was that this was the event that NZMS President Roger Eagles was presenting the medal for!  Oh well, sorry Rog, the men’s 50fly was worth it.

And it was.  Not only were there a number of New Zealanders swimming but also some other friends of mine so it made for a very social afternoon/evening.  Ben Van Dyke was first up and pulled off another win.  Per Henrik was next with a 48th, followed by Mark Weldon who false started and was DQ’d.  Finally was second honorary New Zealander swimming for Roskill, Adam Carroll who finished 6th.

First up on the 3rd was the 50fr.  Men were indoors and women outdoors.  I scratched as my elbow was quite sore and the thought of hitting a wall again made me feel quite queasy.   Lindy Kelly was then the only NZ woman to swim and finished 18th.  In the men’s, Ben Van Dyke took out the bronze, third honorary New Zealander David Stekert swimming for Roskill finished 61st just behind Per Henrik who finished 60th.  Mark Weldon was 6th and in the age group below Adam Carroll was 7th.

Next up was the 200IM, with our only swimmer Sid Salek finishing 3rd.  This was followed by the 100fly.  Jo Matthews finished 6th with another New Zealand record.  In the men’s Ben won yet again and Mark Weldon was 2nd – just beaten by the man from Limerick.  Adam Carroll was 9th.


The final swim of the day was the 50Breast.  Per Henrik finished 49th and Richard Korhammer 21st.

Wednesday was relay day which saw the one New Zealand relay team, the Mt Roskill team of Mark Weldon and the three honoraries  - Richard, David and Adam, finish 5th in the 200IM.

The second to last day of pool swimming was the 200br, the 100bk and the 200fly. Fritz Bohm swam the 200br and finished 6th, and followed that up with 9th in the 100bk.  Patricia Owens Bohm was 14th in the women’s 100bk.   Jo Matthews was 6th again in the 200fly with yet another New Zealand record.  Sid was unfortunately DQ’d in the men’s 200fly.

Final pool day was the 50bk and 400fr.  Men were indoors and women, on a chilly wet day, outdoors.  The only 50bk swimmer was Adam Carroll who came 9th.  The 400fr started with Sid finishing 3rd, and ended with Patricia Owens Bohm 19th, and me winning the very last race of the meet.

2010 FINA World Masters Championships


The day didn’t quite finish until we had the Open Water briefing.  An amusing time all around with NZ FINA delegate Bill Matson answering the same question over and over again that the buoys were “yellow, 2 metres tall!”  (I guess you had to be there to appreciate the funny side of this!)  It got to the point that some of the questions asked were so inane that the rest of the audience would yell the answer out to the poor sod who spoke without thinking.  (“Can I wear a watch?” “NO!”, “what temperature is the water?” “Same temperature it was five minutes ago – 20 degrees!”, “What togs am I allowed to wear?”, “Read the FINA Rules – NO ZIPS!”….)


And so it was the very last event of the swimming programme, the Open Water swim.  This was seriously the very best open water swim I have done.  It was a beautiful venue and it was so well organised it was unreal.  Magic!  But there were only three real toilets and four porta-loos for 1,000 swimmers….but there was a lake and plenty of trees…..

2010 FINA World Masters Championships


Spectators sat on a large grassy slope looking down the length of Lake Delsjon.  The course ran down to the end of the lake, around a little island and back, so practically the whole course could be seen. With 1,000 swimmers and the spectators, there was a fair crowd there.  Actually the analogy of penguins came into play again as Sid Salek, upon finally stumbling back to Team New Zealand headquarters in the middle of the slope commented that he really didn’t know how penguins could find each other among their colonies on the ice.

So this time it was youngest first so I was the first New Zealander to finish.  The waves were ten minutes apart and some were mixed with the men, some weren’t.  My wave was my own age group of women only which in some ways was nice.  I won.


Next to finish was Ben who came in third after a hard and close fight with Graeme Croft from Perth taking it out.  Unfortunately Ben felt the cold a bit too much in this race and probably could have done with a dram or two of whiskey to warm him up after!

Finally I met up with Keith Drummond, the only New Zealander I hadn’t yet seen.  Keith swam in a wetsuit and unfortunately experienced some of the less attractive behaviour in open water swimming.  He had his goggles ripped off by a woman.  This was completely out of line.  Firstly, its Masters swimming and that sort of behaviour should just not happen, but second he was in a wetsuit so not eligible for a placing, and as he was male and she was female they were in different categories so what was the point??  He obviously still threatened her in some way despite them not even being in the same competition – maybe Keith should take that as a complement!

Last but never least; Sid came home 3rd in his age group.


So that was it, a magic end to a magic week.  All is all it was great, and I am sure everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did.  I am looking forward to catching up with everyone in meets to come!


Masterton Masters

  • Kirsten Cameron (35-39 age group) – 800fr 1st (WR), 100fr 1st (NZ Record), 200fr 1st, 400fr 1st, Open Water 1st
  • Jo Matthews (55-59 age group) – 400IM 7th, 100fly and 200fly 6th (NZ Records), 50 fly 6th.
  • Per Henrik Enberg (40-44 age group) -100fr 56th, 50 breast 49th, 100breast 56th, 50fly 48th, 50fr 60th

Tasman Masters

  • Ben Van Dyke (60-64 age group) – 800m 1st,, 100fr 3rd , 50fr 3rd, 100fly 1st, 50fly 1st, Open Water 3rd. (Not sure how many were NZ records)
  • Lindy Kelly (55-59 age group) – 100m 18th, 50fr 18th

Katikati Masters

  • Sid Salek (80-84 Age Group) – 800m 4th, 400IM 2nd, 200Fly DSQ, 400fr 3rd, 200IM 3rd, Open Water 3rd

Northland Masters

  • Fritz Bohm (75-59 age group) – 800m 9th, 200bk 8th, 100br 11th, 200br 6th, 100bk 9th
  • Patricia Owens Bohm (70-74 age group) – 800m 20th, 200Bk 9th, 200fr 19th, 400fr 19th, 100bk 14th

Mt Roskill

  • Mark Weldon (40-44 age group) – 50 fr 6th, 100fr 4th, 50 fly DSQ, 100fly 2nd NZ Record
  • Richard Korhammer (40-44 age group) – 50br 21st, 100br 23rd
  • David Stekert (40-44 age group) – 50fr 61st
  • Adam Carroll (35-39 age group) – 50fr 7th, 50fly 6th, 100fly 9th, 50bk 9th
  • Keith Drummond (55-59 Age Group) – Open Water 18th (in a wetsuit so not recognised)
  • Mt Roskill relay team (160-199 age group) 200IM 5th.

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