Age no barrier to racing

CLEAR GOALS: Coach Michael Abel with Kristy Nichols at Lakeside Leisure Centre. Picture: Stephen Wark

CLEAR GOALS: Coach Michael Abel with Kristy Nichols at Lakeside Leisure Centre. Picture: Stephen Wark

FRESH from personal best times at two major swimming carnivals, Medowie's Kristy Nichols is setting her sights on bigger things in 2015.

The 34-year-old member of Raymond Terrace AUSSI Masters Swimming Club has been bitten by the competitive bug and hopes to improve on her top 60 world rankings in her age group.

"I swam competitively as a kid but gave it away after finishing school," Nichols said.

"About four years ago I was back in the pool to maintain my fitness, then about 12 months ago I joined the Terrace club and decided to get back into competition.

"I enjoy the Masters . . . the friendly rivalry, meeting new friends and, of course, the travel."

Nichols competed in her first serious tournament as a master at the FINA World Titles in Montreal, Canada, last August, posting personal best times in both the 50- and 100-metre freestyle.

She then backed up at the Pan Pacific Games on the Gold Coast in November, recording personal bests in three of her four events.

"I finished in the top four in all my events - the 200-metre individual medley, 100-metre free and 50- and 100-metre butterfly events.

"The next FINA Games are in Russia but given the state of affairs I may give them a miss and concentrate on the Mexico Games in 2017.

"Next year will be all about improving my times and ranking."

Nichols, who trains up to eight hours a week at Lakeside Leisure Centre under the guidance of coach Michael Abel, said Masters swimming was open to anyone above the age of 20.

New members are welcome, with the club meeting at 8am every Saturday at the Lakeside Leisure Centre in Raymond Terrace.

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