Australia's oldest relay swimmers national record broken

Added On April 10, 2017

SYDNEY, April 10 (Xinhua) -- With a combined age of 360 years, an Australian men's swim team have broken the national age record for the 4x50 meter relay at the New South Wales State Masters Swimming Championships on Sunday.

The four men aged 87, 90, 91 and 92 decided to challenge for the record a second time, after a former member John-William Steen, died a day before their first attempt in 2016.

"I persuaded at a funeral of one of my swimmers, when they saw me they asked how I was swimming and said why don't we start a relay team?" former British navy swimmer, John Sheridan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

If the team could get another member over 86, it would get their combined age past 360 and earn them the record.

So the team asked 87 year old Max Van Gelder, who holds 28 national and state Masters swimming records.

"I became the young swimmer in the team and I was very pleased about this," Van Gelder said.

The successful effort has received enormous praise from Australia's swimming community, as well as the broader general public.

After the race, van Gelder told local media, "This was for John."