Octogenarian extraordinaire Doreen King has claimed supremacy in the swimming pool by collecting two medals at the recent FINA World Masters Championships in Montreal.
King, who competed in the 80- to 84-year-old category, picked up gold in the 100-metre breaststroke and a silver medal in the 200-metre breaststroke.
“I was surprised to win, as you can imagine,” said King. “It was particularly surprising to win the 100 metres because it was a world competition and the 100 metres is very popular in all strokes.”
King’s big victory came on Day 2 of the competition, with an impressive time of 2:20.35 in a nine-person field of swimmers that included two Brazilians, two Germans, two Japanese, a French competitor and another Canadian.
King has been swimming with the Ancaster Masters Swim Club since it began in 1982 and is no stranger to the medal podium. She picked up two golds and a silver in the national championships in Windsor last year.
“It’s a good group,” said King of the Ancaster Masters Swim Club. “It’s nice to swim in a group. There is a lot of camaraderie. When it began in Ancaster, I was delighted, because it was a way of getting back to fitness.”
King swam competitively in her late teens while living in New Zealand, however there was a “big gap” in her pool prowess as King met and married, moved to Canada and had two children.
King swims three times a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for an hour — under the watchful eye of coaches Alex Parent and Dan Macaulay. Her workout consists of a warm-up and about a 1,500-metre swim each night to help build endurance and speed
“I think it has kept me young and has definitely kept me mobile,” said King. “And I do play tennis as well.”
Roughly 10,000 athletes from 60 countries competed in the open water, synchronized swimming, swimming, diving and water polo championships at the FINA World Masters Championships.
The Ancaster Masters Swim Club provides professionally coached fitness training and stroke correction for swimmers 18 years and older whose motivations could include fitness, triathlon training and competitive swimming. For more information, click here.