Record Medal Haul at Pool and Track

An amazing number of athletics and swimming records have tumbled at this year’s Alice Springs Masters Games.

Swimmers have taken to heart Australian sporting icon Dawn Fraser’s message that records are there to be broken.

In the first four days of competition, 169 new swimming marks were set. And the tally from athletes competing across the road were not far behind.

First time Alice Springs Masters Games participant Darrin Tahere is surprised he was a star performer of this week’s meet.

Tahere made a big splash in the pool with eight Games records in the 35-39 age category. He set eight records – five for individual swims and three in relays.

“I am really surprised to have broken the records,” he said.

“There were not a lot of swimmers in my age group but I was expecting a couple of people might be ahead of me.

“It is my first time and I love it.

“I have met a lot of people in town who do swimming so it is good networking … and a lot of fun.”

Tahere is not alone in setting the pool alight during these Games.

Others to do well include the oldest male swimmer 87-year-old Gordon Medcalf who set six new records.

Dr Clare Hand, who is also providing sports medicine at the pool, broke five records while the swimming coordinator Julie Collins also broke five records.

Alice Springs swimmers Chris Daffy and Josh van Haaren both registered four records.

There were also records set across the road in athletics events.

Charles Crowley, who competed in the 80+ age group, showed the way with five new records.

Hearing impaired runner Cristine Suffolk showed she was in good form with a record in the 3000m women’s 45+ age group, with a time of 11:53. She backed it up with 5:49.57 to win gold in the 1500m to add to her collection from the past four Alice Springs Masters Games.

Suffolk is heading to the World Masters games in two weeks.

Rhondda Dundas was a triple record breaker in the women’s 70+ division in the shot put, hammer and discus.

Other records were set by Volodymyr Shelever, Noela Medcalf and Coral Allan.

And there were plenty of other highlights on the four days of the meet.

New track star and 34-year-old Clancy Snell ran good times in the 100m and 200m but was shaded in the 400m by Kat Cacavas, who won silver in the 5km cross country earlier in the day.

Local legend Dick Kimber won gold in both track and field in his 75+ age group. He also won gold in the 100m and shot put.

Gladys Gullock, 88, and Gordon Medcalf, who had a good meet at the swimming, showed a strong turn of pace, both winning the 100m sprints in a shade more than 30 seconds.

Grant Allan won a swag of medals in the 60+ age category including gold in the 3000m, 1500m, 400m and 200m.