Author: Bridget Cushen

Photo Credit: Paula Cooke

Another phenomenal day at the Masters.. MMAC members Lucy Marshall recorded her first British Masters record here in the W35 Weight throw (17.76m) after her silver medal in the hammer. It was a record book performance again for Gloucester jumper Joanne Willoughby, who set a new W55 BR mark of 10.45 in the triple jump.  Anthony Treacher SWVAC also got an M80 triple jump (7.54m) and gold medal. British records came from M65 Ian Broadhurst NMAC, who rarely misses one of these Championships, here he won the 300mH (47.48sec), and a W70 new mark from Jean Fail over the 200mH 49.42m.

The throwers have got away to a good start, some being lucky weather-wise, but some throws had to be postponed disrupting the timetable and putting an extra load on over worked Officials.  George Perkins has already notched up the silver in the Weight and a bronze in his hammer competition. Stuart Thurgood, EMAC, got 2nd in the M40 weigh.  John Watts has been throwing remarkably well recently. He has entered four events here, throwing 15.46m in the weight for the silver medal, and the NMAC octogenarian is likely to return home to Middlewich with medals from all four events.  A throw of 48.23m gave David Valentine 3rd in the hammer. Geoff Tyler set a new  British mark in the M70 shot 12.13m.

After a day’s respite from the rain, on the 8th competitors were again faced with atrocious conditions, heavy rain turned the 4km cross-country, held in a park adjacent to the second stadium in Caorle, into a quagmire. The track was recently resurfaced and the disturbed ground was still soft.

Electronic equipment failed, a lack of volunteers and Officials caused individual and team results to be almost impossible to sort out. Reverting to pencil and paper, one Official was left recording the numbers. The absence of Lynne Marr and Archie Jenkins was sorely missed; they were on their way over after their senior officiating role at the Great North Run and did not arrive until midnight. Why the men’s 10,000m was also scheduled that afternoon in the third stadium is puzzling. Most of our runners opted for the track race.  Clare Elms collected her third W55 gold medal of the Championships as she held home the 61-strong 55-plus field in the cross-country and a team victory. Penny Forse and Ros Tabor got 1st and 2nd W70 and Lucy Elliott a clear W50 win.    

Competitors in the women’s heptathlon on their second day were experiencing conditions almost as bad as the men had gone through earlier except there was little wind.  The final results of the men’s decathlon can be found on the web site. British placing: M40 finishing 5th was Kevin Cranmer with 5329pts, M45 Craig Pounder notched up 5691pts. 21st and 22nd in the M50 were Derek Warner and Geoffrey Butler in an event won by the German Thomas Stewens in a remarkably high 7830pts. Brian Slaughter scored 6205 behind M60 Hubert Indra’s 6425.  M65 Adrian Essex got a well earned silver and M70 Alastair Hill completed his task and was rewarded with a bronze medal.   

The M55-plus pole vault scheduled for Jesolo, was too risky and was postponed to the following afternoon. It was a decision that proved expensive for M65 MMAC’s Neil Mason as that was the only event he entered and had booked to fly home the following morning. Conditions were back to normal in the morning of 9th with a comfortable 20/22° He missed an exhilarating competition that afternoon as the brilliant Germany, Wolfgang Ritter, kept his devoted followers entertained, taking yet another European title in the now warm sunshine, clearing 3.65m.  M55 Alan Leiper cleared 3.30m for 8th place and Wayne Martin was 11th M60 (2.90m).

Meanwhile the British 400m runners were being taken to task by the cream of European runners. In age descending order, M80 Anthony Treacher went out far too fast but held on tenaciously to salvage the silver medal in 78.24sec – a British record –  after being overhauled by the German Willi Klaus 30m out, winning in 76.00sec.  Winston Laing judged it perfectly for his M75 silver, 69.26 , another British Record, in a race going to the Swede, Tage Isaksson in 68.36.  Prof. Steve Peters still reigns supreme, pulling away from his opponents down the home straight, ducking under the formidable 60sec to add to his enormous international tally in 59.05sec, a new British record.  His campaign to reduce the distance to 300m for the M65 plus is gaining momentum as Delegates listened attentively to his address on the medical implications on older sprinters when running this distance. They voted in equal numbers 30 In Favour, 30 Against for EMA to forward his Proposal to the World Masters Athletics General Assembly in Toronto next year where Competition Rules can only be changed. The Chairman, Kurt Kaschke, gave his casting vote in favour.  But back to his final, Ian Broadhurst had chased him in for the bronze medal and Simon Barrett 5th saying  “I hope he [Steve} is successful in his campaign, as gasped for breath.”

John Wright, the spectators’ hero after his 100m win over a US sprinter earlier in the Championships, looked as if he might be in the wrong age group as he simply raced away from his opponents to win his second M60 in 55.13 from Jan Czastka, Poland, and the Italian Mauri in 59.48sec. Michael Gardner was just out of the medals in 4th in the M50 and Dominic Boker-Ingram was 8th .  It too is a new BMAF mark. There was a win for Irishman, Kevin Lynch in a close run M45 final, where the two Brits, Brian Derby and Graeme Harrison clocked 54.09 and 55.16sec respectively. David Brown may also have been a bit impetuous as his 51.38sec only gave him the bronze medal in a race won by the German, Dornemann, in 50.57sec.  Andrew Parker NMAC placed 6th. and it was another bronze medal for Woking M35, David Awde, as his Polish 400mH opponent went on to take his second individual gold medal of the Championships.    

We are grateful to Earl Taylor (NIMAA) who stepped into the Team Manager post after he got injured and was unable himself to compete.

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