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Swim England President Ian Mackenzie says Masters Nationals was 'just magic'

Swim England President Ian Mackenzie has said the Masters Nationals Championships was ‘just magic’ after attending the event in Ponds Forge.

Ian, who will hold the role of President until May 2022, commented on what he described as a ‘fantastic’ return to national competitions following a near 18 month hiatus.

“It’s fantastic, absolutely fantastic”, he said. “I’ve done water polo and other events already this year but it’s great seeing athletes swimming that are so fit and with records being broken.

“It’s a really good event and everyone seems to be enjoying it – everyone is so appreciative of all the workforce.

“It’s not only the athletic side but it’s the social side as well, people are catching up with people they haven’t seen for two years so it’s really good all-round.”

Ian was unable to attend the 2019 edition of the event after suffering a broken back just before the competition was due to take place.

He commented that this added to the already special event in 2021 as he said: ” Being here this year is just magic.

“Meeting up with people I haven’t seen for two years face-to-face and seeing them in the flesh is really good fun.

“We’ve got the regional winters next weekend and at the beginning of next month, we’ve got the national winters and the water polo nationals after that.

“It’s getting really exciting again and people are getting into it.”

Jane shines with five world records

One swimmer who stood out over the course of the competition was Jane Asher who broke an astonishing five world records while racing in Sheffield.

The 90-year-old Kings Cormorants swimmer achieved world records in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Individual Medley, 100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke, and 200m Freestyle.

Speaking to Swim England after breaking a world record on day two of the competition, she said: “It feels wonderful, thank you.

“I have trained hard in a very limited time and I wasn’t sure I should have been able to get them [records] before covid. So this has been a surprise and very pleasing.

“We’re thrilled to see each other – this is really social as much as physical exercise. Some people are missing which is hard, but then new people come in and it’s lovely to watch these youngsters and pleasing to know they want to come in.

“Although I’m not swimming as fast as I have done, at least I’m still swimming and it means other people will go on as well.”

Asher said that she was ‘feeling hopeful’ ahead of the 100m backstroke on the final day of racing – a world record which she eventually broke.

Commenting on how she was aiming for the hat-trick of backstroke records, she said: ” I got the 50 short course in Crawley so this will be the 100 and somewhere I want to try and get the 200.

“You have to keep looking forward, have a reason to work hard and you just have to keep working – you don’t get them without working.”