World Championship 100 m Fly Gold medallist Graeme Milne TCSC

Graeme Milne travelled to Hungary, Budapest for the 17th FINA World Masters Swimming Championships held over 1 week from 14th August 2017 . He swam at the World Championships in a 50M pool with 3 other Cornish masters swimmers (Ali Phesse; CB&H, Mick Swift ;Caradon and Ben Proctor; Newquay) however, because events were held in different arenas , swimmers did not get an opportunity to support each other nor find out how each other did until the results were published.

Graeme swam 4 events in the 60-64 year age group – 50M Fly, 100M Fly, 50M Free, 100M Free. Full results from our Cornish masters swimmers are on the CCASA website ( . Graeme completed some excellent swims with his best event being the 100M fly in which he gained first place and a gold medal.

Graeme kindly agreed to an interview to find out more about his journey to success .

Graeme started swimming at the age of 10 years at City of Leeds SC he also swam for Clubs in Norwich and Southampton, his family moving due to his fathers work . Leeds was a big Club with several International swimmers and went on to produce Adrian Moorhouse who dominated British swimming in the late 1980s and won Olympic Gold in Korea (1988) doing the 100 breast stroke event. Swimming at a Club affiliated to a famous swimmer was a motivator . Graeme trained 5 times a week at his peak and sometimes twice a day and went on to become the British National age group Champion in 110yds Fly Aged 15 years .

The following year, in the junior category, 16years and under, he came second. Also that year he reached the National seniors final and came 6th . Although living most of his life in England , Graeme was born in Scotland as were his parents and grand- parent and he went on to swim for Scotland in the Scottish National squad in 1973 . Late in 1973 Graeme won the 100 fly trials for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1974 , however Graeme was not selected for the team . Although never told why you are not selected Graeme suspected the second place swimmer was chosen in preference as he was able to do other events and be part of several relay teams in addition to the 100 fly .

This disappointing decision coincided with the end of Graeme’s school years and he went on to get a job and stopped competitive swimming . He still entered some distance events and did some open water swims with the fire-brigade but did not enter the competitive arena again until he retired and moved to Cornwall. 

Since his retirement to Cornwall he has re-built his competition fitness by combining swim training 3 times a week with land training twice a week . The journey back to the top has not been easy with episodes of ill health and injury along the way, but determination and persistence has paid off. He enjoys the fun and friendship of masters swimming which is more relaxed and forgiving than competitive swimming as a youngster. 

Besides the swimming achievements from this years’ Worlds , Graeme won two Golds at the World Championships in Kazan in 2015 setting British Masters records (long course ) in the 50 & 100 M Butterfly . He lowered the 50M record by a fraction at the British masters held in Aberdeen in June 2017 . He also holds the 50M Butterfly (short course) record set at the ASA Championships held in Sheffield in 2014 as well as multiple Cornish records.

I asked Graeme how he prepares for a big event and he explained that he reduces his training in the pool as he approaches the event date, and stops his gym sessions . During his training in the pool he concentrates more on the process of the race rather than distance swum. Nutritional preparation is unimportant in that he does not eat anything different or change his nutritional input leading up to an event. On race day he prepares by rehearsing his race plan, focussing on the process of his individual race. He did not enter the 100 fly at this year ‘s Worlds ranked first, but swam alongside the fastest swimmer who hit the first 50m way ahead of the other swimmers in his heat. Graeme kept to his race plan and held his pace for the second 50M eventually swimming past the fastest swimmer and taking first place.

Having achieved a Gold medal at the Worlds I asked what the next goal was. He told me he wants to keep on swimming , remain injury free and attend the next Worlds in 2 years time when he will have moved into the older age group. 

Good Luck !

If anyone is interested in masters swimming please do not hesitate to make contact and join our masters swimming in Cornwall .

Catherine Ralph

Cornwall masters rep

Posted by Swim England South West on February 1st 2018

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