Swimmer is just shy of his 1,000 medal target
A 66-year-old swimmer from Suffolk is celebrating after gaining 12 out of 14 medals at a competition last weekend, putting him just 28 medals shy of his 1,000 goal.
Len Phoenix, of Stradbroke and a member of Stowmarket Swimming Club, completed the Dominion Jersey Masters Meet 2015 in the 65-69 age category and won 12 medals, including gold for the 3,000 open water sea swim.
He said: “It’s the biggest amount of competition swimming I have done in one go, by quite a large amount. I covered 6,800 metres swimming. It was a tremendous meet, very enjoyable. I have never, ever, in my 27 years [of competing] swum as many metres as that over one weekend competition.
“It’s the biggest haul of medals I have taken in any one meet. I have done something like 1,300 events.”
Mr Phoenix, a lifeguard and Swim Fit instructor at Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre, began swimming as a teenager and got back into the sport in 1987 after an injury lead to him giving up his other passion of rugby.
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“If somebody at that stage had told me where I was going to go with it I wouldn’t have believed them,” he said. “It has been a rollercoaster.”
His swimming has taken him to competitions across the globe, including in Australia and throughout Europe, and he has competed at local, regional and national level. His success is even more applaudable as just three years ago, the swimmer was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart beat.
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Mr Phoenix has set himself a target to get a further 28 medals by next spring to take his total number of swimming medals to 1,000.
“I normally get about 30 medals a year. If I double my efforts and go for some of the bigger competitions I might be able to. I have doubled the number of events that I’m doing.”
RESULTS FOR SIDEBAR PANEL PLEASE
The event’s Len Phoenix competed in, in the 65-69 category, and where he ranked.
25m freestyle – 5th
50m freestyle – 4th
400m freestyle – gold
800m freestyle - gold
1,500m freestyle – gold
25m backstroke – silver
50m backstroke – gold
100m backstroke – gold
200m backstroke – gold
25m breast stroke – silver
25m butterfly – silver
200m individual medley (100m each stroke) – gold
400m individual medley (100m each stroke) – gold
3,000m sea swim - gold