It was a thrill for 28-year old Justin Kata. He won the 50 meter freestyle race at the Masters Swimming 2013 SCY State Championships on Saturday in North Myrtle Beach. The man who came in second was 3-time Olympic Gold Medal Winner Rowdy Gaines.
Kata, who swims for Carolina Aquatics out of Columbia, South Carolina, says a big reason for his victory is a 25 year age difference. Gaines is 53 years old. He will turn 54 in just eight days.
Kata touched the edge of the pool first at the end of the 50 meter sprint with a time of 22:38, Gaines time was 22:72. He took the loss in stride, "I get beat all the time, I get beat, I get beat up every day. I have four daughters. I get beat up every day, to get beat in a race is not a big deal."
Gaines bounced back to win the 100 meter freestyle event. He owns nearly every short distance record in every age group of Masters Swimming.
Gaines is the chief fundraiser for USA Swimming and has been a swimming analyst at the last six Summer Olympic Games.