In an exciting move and for the very first time, FINA arranged for the World Masters Championships 2015 to take place at the same venue as the full World Championships with some overlap of events. Hence, Masters athletes who went out early to prepare for the open water or long distance pool swimming were able to gain some inspiration by watching the elite athletes compete on the world stage.
This year, two Otters competed at the event - Wade Rimbach and Pip Bennett. The latter arrived very early in Kazan as he had the open water event held on a similar, albeit shorter, course as the elite swimmers. Pip finished 5th in the 30-34 age group winning a sprint finish over an Argentinian athlete by a mere 0.1 seconds. He was very pleased with this result as last year he finished 12th.
Wade (also 30-34) arrived a few days later and the two of them set out to compete in the fantastic ‘Aquatics Palace’ facility. This held two 50m pools, a diving pit and superb results systems - evidence that being linked to the main championships was beneficial. Numbers at this event were lower than the last two editions in Montreal and Riccione, but at the sharp end of the competition the standard was exactly as expected at the World Championships level. The lower numbers meant that warming up for swimming events was much easier and less like the people-soup that has been a feature of some competitions.