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Meet our latest World Champions

What an incredible nine days our twins, Gerda and Jannie, have had in the pool(s). Firstly at the World Masters Games in Auckland NZ, a three day break in getting back to WA, then two days at the HBF Stadium at the MSWA State Championships.

Just sticking to “podium finishes” in Auckland: Gerda won Gold (not real gold, but they do give out very impressive medals at the WMG) in the 50m and 200m Backstroke events, the 200m Individual Medley all of which bettered WA Masters State Records. She also had a first in the 100m Freestyle. Jannie won Gold in the 50m and 100m Breaststrokes, both in MSWA Record time and had two thirds in the 50m and 100m Backstrokes.

At the HBF Stadium over this last weekend, Gerda won all her events: 50m Free, Back and Fly, the 100m and 200m Back and the 200m I.M. so won her age group. The 50m Fly was another State Record. Jannie was unwell plus having a broken bone in her wrist (done before the WMG), so limited her individual swims, but did win the 50m Breaststroke.

The two girls combined with Pauline and Colleen on the Saturday, then Pauline and Deb Bloor on Sunday, to win and break State Records in the Women’s 280+ Freestyle and Medley Relays. Not bad eh ?

Many of you reading this will not know Gerda Williams and Jannie Thomson as they don’t train at night and only venture down to Doddi’s if it’s very, very warm having lived in Darwin for many years. They do however train regularly at the MARC in the mid-mornings with a number of others from our Club. Pauline and Ivan have known them since they were ten when they performed as “Little Red Monkeys” to that song of the same name popular at the time, in a Water Ballet before the days of Synchronised Swimming became a sport. That occasion was at the Renmark annual swimming carnival, where Pauline and Ivan had their beginnings. Later, they became close friends when Ivan went to live in Adelaide to train under coach Harry Gallagher at the City Baths where the twins were training too. Who would have thought that they would be virtual neighbours 65 years down the track?

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