Portrait of a Master: Rolf Luedecke (GER)
As a player since 1962 and a referee since 1977, Mr. Luedecke is passionate and well-rounded water polo enthusiast. Throughout his life he played water polo at what he calls a “medium level”. Early on he participated in the German Youth Championships before playing Division 1 (Bundesliga) and then Masters competitions on a friendly level.
In 1999, his club team “Poseidon Hamburg” was looking for a new challenge besides their Hamburg-based activities and decided to participate for the first time in the German Masters Championships. “We were successful and finished as German Champions in the age group 50+. Nearly all players on the team had played together for over 30 years. Thereon we played the German Championships every year”.
“I love success”
Federica Pellegrini, the greatest Italian sportswoman ever?
“Do you believe you are now the greatest female athlete that Italy has ever had?” The question was put forward by an Italian journalist at a crowded press conference held on July 29 soon after the medal ceremony of the 200m freestyle, in which Federica (or “Fede”, as her name is often shortened) Pellegrini had just won her second gold medal and set her third world record of the meet. The challenging question could have been embarrassing for anybody else; certainly it was not for Federica. Staring at her interlocutor, Federica answered in a firm and passionate voice: “Of course I do! I thought that already before these championships. Now I have two gold medals from the Worlds and three more world records.” Pondering her words she added: “One of my goals was to set ten world records while I was still twenty; that is exactly what I have done, in fact I will turn 21 next week”. Pellegrini’s daring statement was like icing on the cake for the Italian media, which had been inundated by the flow of controversial comments and commentaries. Some thought Federica’s assertion was arrogant and perhaps blunt; others praised her sincerity and self-esteem. Surely, in term of absolute excellence, it will be difficult not to acknowledge Federica having already become the greatest Italian sportswoman ever.
Portrait of a Master: Linda Buchanan (USA)
Ms. Buchanan is a former world champion triathlete who has been playing Masters Water Polo for about 10 years now. She started for a simple reason: namely, several women she swam with formed a local women’s Masters Team. “The way they talked about it”, she says, “made it sound fun. So, I tried one practice and was hooked.”
She continues to play, however, because of the challenges water polo provides, as well as the dynamics of teamwork, which she didn’t experience as much as an individual athlete. “I play for fun, fitness, competition and friendship”, she concedes, but “learning something new is motivating and competing in polo keeps me swimming and exercising more than I might have otherwise.”
Germany at its best
Thomas Lurz and Angela Maurer take half of the gold at stake in Ostia
After experiencing bad sea conditions that dictated the postponement of the programme for two days, the site of Ostia successfully hosted the open water competitions of the 13th FINA World Championships – on July 21 for the 5km races, July 22 for the 10km and July 25 for the 25km. Germany (with Thomas Lurz and Angela Maurer) confirmed its status of powerhouse in this discipline by conquering three gold medals (half of the titles on offer). The remaining World champions came from Australia (Melissa Gorman), Italy (Valerio Cleri) and Great Britain (Keri-Anne Payne).
Portrait of a Master: Catherine L. Chua-Matsuguma (PHI)
An elite, Chinese-trained diver in her youth, Catherine L. Chua-Matsuguma (PHI) guided herself back to the boards after starting a family and is now Honorary Member on the Philippine Diving Committee.
An aquatics athlete since infancy, Chua-Matsuguma (based in Oita, JPN) started Masters Diving around the year 2000, five years after she had retired from competition and moved to Japan where she married a military officer and started a family. When she retired from training however, she still maintained an active lifestyle by swimming at least twice a week.
Portrait of a Master: Dorothy Williams (GBR)
During Dorothy Williams’ 20+ years as a Masters swimmer, she has competed in Rome, Florence, Riccione, Vichy, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Montreal, Denmark, Geneva, and of course, in Guernsey (GBR) with the Guernsey Masters Club. She formed a team (consisting of Dorothy Weston, Edith Hewitt, Valerie Hardman and herself) in 1992 that broke world records in medley and freestyle.
Individually, she says, “after competing at many pools in England, Scotland and Wales, I probably hold about 700 medals, including lots of gold. My highest achievements were at Guernsey in 2008 while competing in the 85-89 age group; breaking the world record in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, plus four British records including the 50m freestyle and breaststroke.”
FINA Men's Water Polo World League Super Final 2009: Edition # 8: A huge success
Last year, from the Beijing Olympics we learned that the number eight is considered an auspicious number for the Chinese. This year, in Podgorica, we were taught that the number eight was also a lucky number with regard to the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League, the eighth edition of which concluded in the main city of Podgorica in the young and small Republic of Montenegro, on June 21, 2009.
Portrait of a Master: John H. Harrison (GBR)
John H. Harrison – a Veteran of the British Royal Navy who served from 1938 to 1945 - joined Masters at age 79 because he had an enthusiasm for swimming and keeping fit. Before that, he was a swimming and life saving instructor/examiner and a sports sub aqua diver until the age of 70. “Unfortunately,” he recalls, “at the age of 70 whilst diving off Portland Bill in Dorset, five divers were reported missing on the TV news. I was one of the five. My wife who saw the article said, ‘That’s enough,’ so I continued with the other water sports.”
Thereafter he saw an advertisement in the paper asking for Royal Navy swimmers. So, at age 79 he joined Godalming Swimming Club and the Royal Navy Swim Team. “My first swim for the Royal Navy was at Sheffield where on times I was beaten by an 83 year old,” Harrison says. “Give up? Too old? No. The result is I have improved over the years.”
An Outlook on the Men's World League Super Final tournament
Italian coach Sandro Campagna, on his arrival at the “Moraca” venue (which he defined as “fantastic”) directly from a training camp in Bressanone, Northern Italy at a height of 1000 metres, said his players have worked hard to improve their physical conditions and they are still working hard in order to achieve their best condition for the World Championships.
Campagna said: “I have also worked on their mental preparation; I want a winning attitude and this Super Final is just what we need to sharpen our condition.” He added: “Here, we will be able to play some high intensity games; for sure we will fight for possession on every ball, until the end of each game.”
Portrait of a Master: Nigel Kemp (CAN)
Information for this article was supplied courtesy of Diana Smith (www.mymsc.ca)
Nigel Kemp, President of Masters Swimming Canada (MSC), is also a Master course conductor in Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program and a contributing author to Swim Canada and FINA technical manuals. He is a multiple award-winning coach, as well as a ten-time Canadian Masters champion who competes regularly. Kemp has been in swimming for a total of 55 years. Presently, he both coaches and swims for the Halifax Trojan Masters swim club in the province of Nova Scotia, where he adheres to the “Active for Life” philosophy for the promotion of health and well-being.
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