The 2016 World Masters Athletics Championships have been held in Perth over the last 2 weeks.
The cream of the crop of the planet’s 35-100 years old athletes assembled to compete for championship medals. 5 online coached athletes represented Australia with pride in this global event in Western Australia.
Chris Maher in the 55-59 age group had an amazing championship. He came 7th out of 44 starters in the 5000m final, where he came 7th in 17.15. Chris had led the group fighting for the minor medals for most of the 12 and a half laps, only to be outkicked in the closing stages. He really wanted a medal! In the 10000m final, Chris tried a different strategy. He sat back in the pack for a good number of the 25 laps and still had enough energy to unleash a massive kick on the final lap to secure 3rd place and a magnificent bronze medal. His time of 35.44 was outstanding in the hot conditions.
Darren Purcell in the 45-49 age group had a drama packed two weeks at the championship. A few days before his 5000m final, Darren strained a calf. He had to scratch from the event and hope that his physio could work with him to help him back to race readiness in just over a week. Darren was extremely fit and his calf was fine going into the marathon. It was a very hot, humid Perth day when they toed the line. Darren set off at a decent pace from the word go and had built a sizeable lead by halfway. He was still leading until the 34km mark when he was finally overtaken by 2 runners. He held on gamely for 3rd place and a much-deserved bronze medal. His medal was as much for persistence and bravery as it was for pure running performance. His time of 2.48 was nothing to be sneezed at given the shocking conditions.
Tony Craig had a solid race in the 35-39 men’s 5000m final where he came 4th with a 15.50. Tony is gradually finding his feet once again after having a busy 12 months becoming a first-time dad and working hard as a dentist.
Deb Drennan in the 55-59 age group had a very busy championships. She ran remarkably well to come 5th in the 800m final in 2.41 and 6th in the 400m final in 70.0. Both her final times were substantially quicker than her performances in the qualifying rounds, so she judged her pace and racing well.
Brad Sharpe in the 55-59 age group made three finals! He came 8th in the 800m in 2.20, 14th in the 1500m in 4.55 and 10th in the 3000m steeplechase.