SWIMMING sensation Tommy Walker broke his own world record - but still didn't clinch the gold medal in the World Masters Swimming Championships.
Accrington-born Tommy is now 71 but competes all over the world with his wife Brenda and made the trip to San Francisco in August to see if he could clinch gold for the 11th time in the World Championships.
He had broke his own world 200m breaststroke record twice in the previous year, getting it down to 3mins 17.77 seconds and was the favourite.
He smashed it again in the World Masters Championships in America, shaving three seconds off it with 3.14 - but someone pipped him to the top spot.
"It was an Italian swimmer I haven't seen much of before," said Tommy, who was competing in the 70-75 age group category. "I was expected to win it as I had the world title but he swam 3.12. I hope I can get the record back next year."
Former Springhill pupil Tommy also got a silver in the 50m breaststroke just missing out on the gold medal again by two hundredths of a second.
And he had two fourth place finishes in the 200m backstroke and 100m breaststroke in the championships which boasted more than 5000 competitors.
"It was a great place," said Tommy, who started swimming when he was nine at Accrington baths but now lives in Chester. "It was red hot and there were two 50m swimming pools side by side and there were excellent facilities with a number of warm-up pools.
"It wasn't like the Victorian Baths we train in at Chester which are very similar to the old Victorian baths at Accrington!"
Not only does Tommy swim but wife Brenda, aged 68, also competes.
The pair met when they both were members of Accrington Swimming Club but moved to Chester in 1966 where both continued to be swimming stars.
Brenda didn't pick up any top three medals this time in America in the 65-69 category but got two fourth places.
She has, though, accumulated her own array of trophies already - winning three golds in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke at the European Championships in Stockholm last year.
They both hope to add more silverware to their collections as the World Championships are held every two years and in between are the European champions with next year's being in Slovenia. The next World's are in Perth in Australia.
The couple both swim five times a week and their trips to compete in the Masters are all self-funded.
"We turn it into a bit of a holiday really" said Tommy. "We go sight seeing and swim as well and we have had the chance to see the world. And it is a social competition where you meet people and attend social events.
"But, even though I am older, I am still enjoying competing."