RUGBY’s Ross Turner went head-to-head with some of the top swimmers in the world at the World Masters Swimming Championships which were held in Kazan, Russia.
The championship was held in the same pool as the full World Championships but its location meant fewer swimmers had entered than in previous years.
Turner took on the world’s best in the 35-39 age group and got off to a positive start in the 100m breaststroke by finishing as sixth fastest overall.
His performance went entirely to plan as he moved up 15 places from the 21st he claimed in Italy back in 2012.
His time of 1:10.79 was excellent for a long course for any swimmer, particularly one who is giving 15 years away to new World Champion Adam Peaty.
The following day Turner entered the 50m Fly and despite being a solid fly swimmer, he never expected to finish inside the top 20 in the world.
He was in extreme shock when he looked at the clock and completed the event in 28.70 to take 17th position.
The race was won by former Olympian Aleksci Manzhula, who also won the 50m free in a new World Record.
Next up was the ‘big one’ for Turner in his favourite 50m Breaststroke event and he was ranked sixth going into the final heat.
The Rugby swimmer made a great start and was right up there with the leaders until the final ten metres.
He thought he had done enought to secure a podium finish but a time of 30.75 was just 0.06 off the medals as he finished an agonising fourth place, just under three seconds off gold.
Initially Turner was hugely disappointed to miss out on a podium, especially by such a small margin.
But for a swimmer from such a small club with only 150 competitive swims to be right up there with ex-Olympic swimmers on the world stage is a truly fantastic performance.
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