Masters swimmers world medalists Betty Brussel (left) and Conny Stamhuis. -Image: Jeanette Hoft/Contributed

Okanagan masters swimmers excel at worlds

Conny Stamhuis and Betty Brussel win four medals each in Budapest.

Kelowna’s grand dame of swimming, Conny Stamhuis, returned from the FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest with two gold and two silver medals in the 85-89 age group.

Stamhuis, of Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC), touched the wall 23 seconds ahead of the field in the 100 metre backstroke to win the event. She also took gold in the 50 metre backstroke, and silver in the 50 metre breaststroke and 50 metre freestyle.

“I was hoping to win at least one event so returning with two golds is a bonus,” Stamhuis said of her performance.

Not to be outdone, OMSC’s Betty Brussel continued her inspirational career performance in the age group 90-94 with silver medals in the 400 metre freestyle, 100 and 200 metre breaststroke, and bronze in the 200 metre backstroke.

Okanagan Falls resident and KISU Masters’ Glenn Carlsen took silver in the 400 metre men’s freestyle age group 60-64, while Vernon Masters’ Michael Stamhuis placed sixth. With an outstanding performance, Carlsen broke his own Canadian National and BC record by almost seven seconds. Carlsen also won silver in the 800 metre freestyle and placed 4th in the 400 metre individual medley, 5th in the 200 metre freestyle and 8th in the 200 metre breaststroke.

Michael Stamhuis also placed 5th in the 200 metre backstroke, 8th in the 100 metre freestyle, 10th in the 200 metre freestyle and 11th in the 100 metre backstroke, beating his own BC record by over three seconds.

“I am very happy with my swims except for the 200 metre backstroke,” said Mike Stamhuis. “Both my mom Conny and I were impressed by the quality of the 4x 50 metre competition pools and four warm-up pools in Budapest. Budapest certainly hosted a world class event and it is a magnificent city.”

“Placing among the first ten swimmers in an international event of this caliber represents world-class achievements,” said OMSC spokesperson Jeanette Hoft. “Masters swimmers from the Okanagan have shown exceptionally impressive performances against top class competitors from around the world.”

The purpose of Masters Swimming is to promote fun, fitness, health, fellowship and participation among adult swimmers above 18 years of age.