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Chris Orchard from Deepings Swimming Club competes in World Masters Championships

Deepings Swimming Club’s Chris Orchard took his place among the world’s best masters swimmers when he travelled to Gwangju, South Korea, for the 2019 World Masters Championships.

He competed in five events in the 60-64 age group, although he qualified for several more, and finished inside the top 20 in three races after a series of excellent performances.

His best placing was 16th, which he achieved twice, in the 800m freestyle and 50m breaststroke.

Chris Orchard qualified for five events at the 2019 World Masters Championships. (15609801)
Chris Orchard qualified for five events at the 2019 World Masters Championships. (15609801)

He was the second fastest British swimmer in his age group, with a time of 12.35.06 in the 800m freestyle and 41.89 in the 50m breaststroke – only the second time he had broken 42 seconds in a 50m long course pool.

Chris swam a new personal best in the 200m freestyle, touching home as the fastest Brit for 18th overall in the world.

He cemented his place as the UK’s fastest freestyler in his age group at the champs by finishing 23rd in the 100m freestyle (in a time of 1.18.46) and 31st in the 50m freestyle (in 35.10) to cap an outstanding few days in South Korea.

Gwangju was Chris’s second World Masters, following Budapest in 2017 where he swam in one event.

He was upbeat about his results considering the eight-hour time difference and lengthy journey.

He said: “The World Masters Championship was an exhilarating experience with swimmers from more than 80 countries competing.

“I could only have qualified thanks to the support and guidance of Lynn Chapman, head coach at Deepings SC, and the tolerance of all the fellow swimmers at Deepings.”

Lynn added: “I’m really pleased for Chris. He works hard in training and has proved himself to be among the best swimmers in the world with some great results.”

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