George Corones has captivated Australians after smashing a world record at an official swim event.
A 99-year-old Queenslander says he’s been inundated with messages of support after setting a new world record at the Commonwealth Games swimming trials on the Gold Coast.
“I haven’t had a moment to myself for the last two days,” George Corones told SBS News on Friday.
Mr Corones swam the 50m freestyle for the 100-104 age group, recording a time of 56.12 seconds.
The previous record was 1 minute 31 seconds.
The Albany Creek resident said he was delighted when he learnt the result – not just because he broke the record, but mostly because he smashed his own personal best.
“I swam a second better than I swam a fortnight ago,” he said.
“I swam 57 seconds over here (at Albany Creek), and at the time trial at the Gold Coast, I reduced it to 56 seconds.
"So I’m just happy that’s all. That’s achieving.”
Asked how he celebrated the milestone, Mr Corones said: “Well, I always carry a water bottle with me.”
Mr Corones, who retired 20 years ago, attributed his long life to swimming and said his achievement could spur other retirees to keep challenging themselves in older age.
He said it’s especially important given Australia is expecting more 100-year-olds than ever before in the coming years.
“It encourages them and gives them something to achieve,” he said.
“It’s been a comfortable and slow improving physical and mental activity.”
Not content with breaking just one record, Mr Corones has his eyes on another tomorrow night, at a 100m event.
He’s looking to beat a 3 minute, 24 second record, having already completed a personal best of 2 mins 24 for the same distance.
“If there’s any relativity (to the other night) I think somebody will blow a cannon tomorrow night.
“I’m not going to come home because the response has been overwhelming.”