George Corones waited nearly 100 years for a world record, and then two came along at once. The 99-year old Queenslander, who is wary of causing too much fuss, broke his first on Wednesday last week and by Saturday he had two to his name.
He hit the wall at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in 56 seconds across 50m, and in two-and-a-half minutes across 100m, smashing the record for his age group – 100 to 104. A delirious home crowd watched him become master of a very specific slice of the world.
Corones, who stopped swimming at the start of the second world war and did not start again until he was 80, is sheepish about what he has done. He is doing his best to be unimpressed with himself and is certain his time will be beaten.
“All I can say is the public have amazed me,” he tells Guardian Australia. “They’ve overwhelmed me and they’ve been overly generous in their response to what has happened. I certainly didn’t anticipate any of this.”
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