Masters athletes kick off in style at the IAAF World Championships in Doha.

Whilst we all enjoy watching this great Championships being beamed into our homes and on social media from Doha, you will have noticed that there are several Masters athletes included in their national teams. Here under are some of the Masters competitors:

Women

The former Congolese 100/200 record holder, Lorene Dorcas Basolo, runs for Portugal in the 100m, she is now aged 36. Ivet Lalova-Collio was a 100/200m finalist at the Athens Olympics and won a European 100m, she runs here for Bulgaria.

USA Olympian, Molly Huddle, is now 35; she had a great 10,000m run, she already has achieved the qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics next year.  42-year old Irish-born Sinead Diver ran in the 10,000m for Australia. She ran a W40 half marathon World Best of 68.55sec earlier this year. Natasha Wodak also tackled the 10,000 for Canada aged 37.

The marathon had the highest number of Masters, Nastassia Ivanova competed for Belarus aged 36, the Canadian team included 37-year old Sasha Goolish and 41-year old Lyndsay Tessier, Costa Rican record holder Gabriela Trana is now aged 39, 36-year old Rosalba Chacha has been competing for her native Ecuador for years, running a personal best marathon this year in 2.32.45sec, W40 Anne-Marie Hyrylainen is not just a world class runner but the Finn also is an established mountaineer.

Age has not caught up with the Kenyan Olympian, Edna Kiplagat, she will shortly move into the W40 as will Helalia Johannes from Namibia. She won the Commonwealth Games title last year. Competing for Turkey is Elvan Abeylegedde at age 37; the USA team included 41-year old Roberta Groner and 36-year old Carrie Dimoff.

Lamiae Lhabze, Morocco runs in the 400mH, she has a best time of 55.51sec and at 35 she is one of only four competitors amongst the 41-strong event aged over 30.

It was World Masters Athletics who introduced the pole vault to women’s competition and it is fitting that a Masters athlete, the 2012 Olympic Champion from the USA, Jennifer Suhr, at aged 37 is the current world leader having cleared 4.91m.  Can a Masters athlete win the IAAF World title?

W35 Nicole Buchler is representing Switzerland.  WMA was also the first to introduce the triple jump for women at our Track & Field Championships in Melbourne in 1987. Representing Colombia is their star jumper, W35 Caterine Ibarguen, who could also be on the podium.  Patricia Sarrapio is now a W35 and will be competing for Spain; Susana Costa goes for Portugal and Olga Saladukha for the Ukraine.

The Field events also has Masters athletes competing, French discus throw record holder Mélina Robert-Michon is now a W40, she will be competing with W35 Dragana Tomasevic from Serbia, Nataliya Semenova from the Ukraine. W35 Martina Hrasnova has already competed for Slovakia in the hammer where she finished 5th with a 72.01m throw.

Double Olympic javelin gold medallist, Barbora Spotakova, Czech Republic, is a regular spectator at the European Masters Track & Field Championships when her mother competes.  Now aged 38-year she still holds the World record at 72.28m. 37-year old Martine Ratej is in the Slovakian team and at 36 Sunette Viljoen is included in the South African team. W35 Lalla Ferrer de Silva represents Brazil.

The large 20km road walk entry has an encouraging number of under 25 athletes but it also has Masters, including W35 Antigonie Drisbioti, Greece, Ana Cabecinha and Inês Henriques from Portugal, Nadiya Borovska, Ukraine and  W40 Grace Njue from Kenya.  Inês Henriques will also tackle the gruelling 50km walk where she is the current title holder. There she will be joined by 41-year old Aggimakri from Greece and W35 Elianay Pereria from Brazil.

 

Men

Justin Gatlin took a silver medal in 9.89sec behind Christian Coleman in a fantastic line up for the 100m final on 28th, the 37-year old ran 9.87sec in June at a pre Diamond League Meeting, a new M35 World record. Otherwise, you have to go to the marathon to find Masters. Here the two Brazilian runners are M35 Vagner Noronha and M40 Roberto Paulo Paula , M35 Pramau of Belarus, El Abbassi, Burundi, evergreen Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, Riman Fosti from Estonia, Ser-od Bat-Ochir Mongolia, Benedict Moeng representing South Africa, Elkahan Kibet USA and Eritrean-born Adhanom Abraha comes in for Sweden aged 42.

There is one Masters athlete in the 3,000k steeplechase, M35 Mohamed Tindouft from Morocco. Donald Thomas represents the Bahamas in the high jump and double Olympian Dalchi Sawano represents Japan again in the pole vault just months short of his 40th birthday. Two M35 Tyrone Smith Bermuda and Yahya Berrahah from Morocco competed in the long jump. Portuguese triple jumper, Nelson Evora, is now an M35.

National discus record holder for Poland, Piotr Malachowski is now past his 36th birthday. Two M35  Masters reached the qualifying standard for the hammer, Krisztián Pars from Hungary and Dilshod Nazarov from Tadjikistan.

The 50km road walk has several Masters including the oldest competitor in Doha, Jesus Angel Garacia from Spain aged 49.  The fastest man amongst the 47 starters is French Masters Yohann Diniz, he is now aged 41 and is also the defending Champion and the fastest man this year with a time of 3hrs.37.43. Other M40 include Joáo Vieira, Portugal, Mundell from South Africa and Toth representing Slovenia. Canadian M35 Bilodiau, Chocho from Ecuador, Jose Diaz Spain,  Kinnunen from Finland, Dominic King is twin brother of Daniel and an Olympian, he goes for Great Britain, Horació Nava, Mexico, Quintin Rew goes for New Zealand, Augustyn of Poland make up a large Masters entry.

 

Bridget Cushen

September 2019

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