Queenslander George Corones remains humble after smashing two world records in four days
George Corones waited nearly 100 years for a world record, and then two came along at once. The 99-year old Queenslander, who is wary of causing too much fuss, broke his first on Wednesday last week and by Saturday he had two to his name.
He hit the wall at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in 56 seconds across 50m, and in two-and-a-half minutes across 100m, smashing the record for his age group 100 to 104. A delirious home crowd watched him become master of a very specific slice of the world.
Corones, who stopped swimming at the start of the second world war and did not start again until he was 80, is sheepish about what he has done. He is doing his best to be unimpressed with himself and is certain his time will be beaten.
All I can say is the public have amazed me, he tells Guardian Australia. Theyve overwhelmed me and theyve been overly generous in their response to what has happened. I certainly didnt anticipate any of this.
Speaking over the phone from his home in Brisbane, Corones is a reluctant worldbeater. Swimming is something he does in private. It lets him exercise without pain. He only ever competes alone, and he is happy if his record encourages other masters-level swimmers to join him.
I was a little concerned beforehand because Ive only just come up from a break away from swimming, he says of his recent efforts. I wasnt quite at the top but I was well enough.
It wasnt a great hurdle to beat, but it had to be done. Somehow, by someone. Were on unbroken ground, put it that way. These current figures are waiting for the attack from the burgeoning number of masters swimmers ladies and men who are waiting to see what can be done. They will surmount it, thats how it goes.
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