Karl Donoghue of Okanagan Falls won three gold and three silver medals in Auckland, New Zealand during the World Masters Games. Western News file photo

Swimmer at his best to medal at World Masters Games

Karl Donoghue medals at World Masters Games and breaks own records

Competing against the best swimmers in the World Masters Games was not a problem for Karl Donoghue.

A top 10 swimmer himself, the Okanagan Falls resident knew what he was up against while in Auckland, New Zealand from April 21 to 30.

“You know that you have to do your best,” said Donoghue. “You have to run a little bit scared. They equally want to win just as much as you do.”

Donoghue captured three gold and three silver medals. The gold came in the 50-m, 100-m and 200-m backstroke and silver in the 200-m and 400-m freestyle as well as the 2.5-km open water swim. The open water swim was a challenge with waves and rain. Donoghue, who won six medals at his first World Masters Games in Edmonton in 2005, also broke two of his Canadian records from 2015 in the 50-m and 100-m backstroke.

“That was great. The whole reason for racing is to try to do your best time of the season at the race,” he said. “In this case it was the best time over two years.”

What Donoghue enjoyed about being at the World Masters Games was the friendliness of his competitors, who he chatted with and compared “training notes.”

“There is a camaraderie there,” he said.

Related: Swimmer makes splash by setting 100th Canadian record – Penticton Western News

The World Masters Games featured 28 sports and is the world’s largest multi-sport event. It is held every four years and is the pinnacle sporting event for masters competitors worldwide. In supporting the Olympic Games ethos of ‘sport for all,’ the goal of the World Masters Games is to encourage participation in sport throughout life. Competition and camaraderie are equally celebrated.