The World Masters Championships are held every two years and the event brought together over 8000 athletes from 101 countries across five continents, to compete in four stadiums in five-year age bands from age 35. Despite the use of multiple stadiums, the atmosphere and crowds were very motivational for all taking part.
As previously reported it all started with a bang as Steyning’s Ian Richards won the M70 5000M walk with a new championship record of 25.51.34 and later won the 20km race in 1:55.00, having a couple of weeks earlier set two World records over the same distances at the British Masters championships at Birmingham.
Next up was Worthing’s Gavin Stephens as he took the M40 200m Bronze with an impressive time of 22.91s.
Eastbourne’s Brian Slaughter took the Silver in the M60 Decathlon and in the process broke the 12-year-old British Record with 7314 points.
The 800M was staged over three rounds across three days with Crawley’s Adrian Haines battling through to the line in the M50 final to pick up the Silver with a very useful 2.03.54 clocking. Hastings’s Steve Baldock, who is just still an M45 has been hampered by injury this year so did well to make the final with a 2.02.16. He was at the front with 250m to go and held off the opposition for as long as possible but was overtaken in the home straight.
Paul Whelpton (Brighton Phoenix) won two medals in the M65 long distance races taking Silver in the 10,000m event in 39:20 and in the tough Half Marathon he was just 11 seconds behind the Kenyan winner to claim the Bronze in 88:38.
Brighton’s Sarah Hewitt’s W40 36.30m discus was enough to earn her 8th place and she finished in the same position as Hastings’s Wayne Martin in the M55 pole vault.
To cap off the championships Gavin Stephen’s ran a sub 50s 400m to claim the World M40 title in a UK rankings leading time of 49.68 - his first run under 50s for 15 years.
The last day saw the traditional relays where Stephens picked up his third medal of the championships in the 4x400 team who clocked 3.22.32 to win the Silver.
The final medal table was between Germany, Spain, Great Britain and the USA.
After the relays Great Britain pulled out on top with a haul of 80 Golds, 66 Silver and 57 Bronze for a grand total of 203.
by Brian Slaughter