Written by Bridget Cushen on 15 Jul 2016
We congratulate the amazing Jo Pavey who will turn 43 in September and the other Virgo, Alyson Dixon she will be 38, on their Olympic 10,000m and marathon respectively selection, but they will not be the only Masters Track & Field athletes named so far for Rio. The USA had already named Boston marathon winner, 40-year old Meb Keflezighi for the marathon. He will now be joined by 41-year old legend Bernard Lagat who not only will be making his fifth Olympic Games appearance, but becomes the oldest USA Olympic runner ever. He only just missed out on a medal in London in 2012 and already has a 1500m bronze from Sydney and silver from Athens. He competes in the 5000m.
The currently injured Kim Collins is likely to be named by St Kitts & Nevis for his 5th appearance and Australia is represented by their Berlin marathon winner, Scott Wescott, who is just shy of his 41st birthday. He also runs into his country’s history books as their oldest ever Track & Field Olympian.
The European Track & Field Championships in Amsterdam 6-10 July attracted just over 1,000 athletes from 50 countries. A staggering 56 of them were Masters, with Spain including seven over 35’s including two in the sprints. The oldest competitor in the Championships was a 44-year old Italian running in the women’s half marathon but Masters appeared in most other events including the pole vault, decathlon and high jump. We’re getting stronger, fitter and younger!
Despite 900 hours of TV coverage by 32 European Channels, there was scant British coverage and unless you are a Eurosport subscriber or tuned into the EAA website, we were deprived of the opportunity to follow the Masters.