Her record-breaking times were the masters phenomenon of 2015 – but there may be even more to come from Emma Gage, says Verity Dobbie in December’s Swimming Times.
‘I’m not sure what the collective noun is for a group of Emmas but I first met 26- year-old Emma Gage and her support crew (confusingly known as Emma and Em!) in Kazan in August as we were all patiently standing in line, enduring the most bureaucratic and unnecessary accreditation system that man has ever devised.
I struck up a conversation with them and while I was switched on enough to realise that I’d just reported on Emma’s British masters record at Manchester in the 50m fly, I was blissfully unaware that the rather tall and quietly spoken swimmer I’d just encountered would turn out to be the swimming phenomenon of the 16th FINA World Masters Championships.
The first inkling of Emma’s ability came on day two of the meet. Seeded second fastest in the 100m freestyle by the smallest of margins, she powered off the blocks, turning in 27.41, and demolished the opposition to set a new masters world record of 56.96 and a PB by over a second.
Next up, we were treated to an awesome display of speed and power in back-to-back sprint events, which provided Emma with a second masters world record of 27.10 for 50m fly (a time which would place her sixth in the British elite rankings) followed by a championship best performance in the 50m freestyle with 25.73.
Emma rounded off the week with two silver medals and two further PBs in the 100m fly and the 200m IM. Notably, her 100m fly was also under the existing masters world record, behind a Russian who had just competed in the elite championships.
It turns out that Emma has a considerable swimming heritage, being one of the original ‘Sweetenham babes’. She was an accomplished age-group distance swimmer and a member of the world-class potential squad.
Emma said her previous claim to fame was that for a three-month period in her youth, she topped the British rankings in the 800m freestyle ahead of a certain Rebecca Adlington.
You can read the full article about Emma Gage in Swimming Times December 2015 along with coverage of the county team champs, behind the scenes at Chelsea and Westminster SC and an interview with Croatia’s gold-winning Olympic water polo captain Samir Barac.
Gift subscription offer
Give a 12-month gift subscription to the swimming enthusiast in your life and we’ll give you a £10 LOVE2SHOP voucher. Simply quote ‘GIFT4ME’ when you buy a print subscription as a gift between 1 November 2015 and 16 December 2015. Save up to 30% on the cover price, pay just £26 per year via Direct Debit or £29 by credit/debit card or cheque.