A large contingent of NSW Masters athletes have returned from the recent Australian Masters Athletics Championships held in Darwin. It was the first time the championships had ever been held in the Northern Territory and with 690 athletes entered was the largest this century.
The warmer winter weather seemed to agree with NSW athletes, who topped the Medal Count with a total of 161 medals (62 gold, 57 silver & 42 bronze), ahead of Victoria (80) and Queensland (68).
Enduring an extended season NSW athletes performed exceptionally well with a number of Australian and State records being broken.
Richard Hughes went up to the M85 age group in March and it didn’t take him long to re-write the record books for the age group. Richard won gold in the 60m (State record), 100m (State Record), 200m (Australian and State Record), 400m (Australian and State Record) and 800m (State Record). The 800m record had been in existence for 30 years and Richard obliterated it by 1 minute and 16 seconds!
Neville McIntyre competing in the M70 was successful in winning the 60m, 100m, 200m, 240+ 4 x 100m relay and also took out silver in the 400m and 240+ 4 x 400m relay.
John Lamb showed his dominance in the M65 age group by winning gold in the 60m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and 240+ 4 x 100m relay and winning silver in the 240+ 4 x 400m relay.
David Riches was outstanding in the M60 long distance events, winning the 1500m, 5000m and 10000m and taking silver in the 8km Cross Country. Breaking State Records in the cross country and a 22 year old record in the 5000m. David was unlucky not to be credited with a new record in the 10000m due to a technical error.
Jason Keane was impressive in taking gold in the M45 5000m, 10000m and 8km cross country.
Sprint champions Ashely McMahon M40 and Darren Hughes M50 showed their superiority in the sprint events by winning their respective age’s 60m, 100m, 200m and 400m then combining as team mates to win sliver in the 120-179 4 x 100m relay. Both athletes ran incredible 100m Champion of Champions races to take 2nd place and 3rd place respectively, with only 0.01 seconds separating them.
Throwing stalwart and superstar Mary Thomas W70 continued her phenomenal year, winning 6 gold medals in the shot, discus, javelin, hammer, weight throw and throws pentathlon, she also finished 2nd in the champion of champions shot put.
Kelly Hunter W40 was also a standout in the throws disciplines for her age group, winning gold in the shot, discus, javelin, hammer, weight throw and throws pentathlon. As was Sharyn Dickson W30, who won gold in all throwing events except the javelin in which she won silver.
All-rounder June Lowe W60 had an outstanding championships, winning gold in the 80m hurdles, shot, weight throw and throws pentathlon, silver in the 60m, 100m, discus and hammer and bronze in the high jump for a spectacular total of nine medals!
Distance runners Robyn Basman W55 and Christine Suffolk W45 topped their age groups in the 8km cross country and 5000m and 10000m respectively. Robyn also backed up to take bronze in the 800m and gold in the 220+ 4 x 400m relay.
NSW sprinters performed extremely well with Yael Reed W30 winning the 60m, 100m, 400m and taking silver in the 200m and the 120-169 4 x 100m relay. Julie Forster W55 won her 60m, 100m, 200m, and 400m individual events. NSW is represented by a number of extremely talented sprinters in the W50 age group including Kylie Strong, Jackie Bezuidenhout and Gianna Mogentale, this age group is arguably the most competitive in Masters Competition, all three ladies medalled in the various sprint events.
Lenore Lambert W45 also topped off an incredibly successful year winning gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 80m hurdles and 400m hurdles and silver in the 60m. Lenore’s time of 63.63 in the 400m hurdles broke her own state record which she set in March this year and is only 0.8 outside the world record in this event.
The 2017 Australian Masters Awards presentation evening was held during the championships in Darwin. Congratulations to the NSW athletes who were nominated in the various categories. NSW had two winners:
Peter Crombie was awarded the ‘Best sprinter/hurdler’ for the 2016/17 season, included in his outstanding achievements for the year was winning gold in the M70 100m, 200m, 400m, M70 4 x 100 and 4 x 400m at the 2016 World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth.
Belinda Martin was awarded the ‘Most Outstanding Individual Performance’ for the 2016/17 season. Belinda won seven gold medals by convincible margins in the W40 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10000m, 8km cross country and ½ marathon (individual and team), at the 2016 World Masters Athletics Championships, Perth. After winning gold in the 10,000m, Belinda travelled to a different track venue, where she captured the gold medal in the 800m, all within a span of two hours!