Rod Milburn will not be forgotten — thanks to hurdling’s Boswell

If Rod Milburn were alive, he might be training for 2015 Lyon worlds — ready to smoke the field in the M65 short hurdles. But in a tragedy to world sport and masters track, Rod died at 47 in a workplace accident. To those of my generation, Hot Rod was Hurdling’s God. He held the world record and won the Munich Olympic title after a meteoric rise in Louisiana. How do we know Rod might have entered masters meets? Coach and hurdling webmaster Steve McGill says so in the 12th and final chapter of his haunting Milburn biography. “[Rod] continued to work out and train,” Steve writes. “Most people who knew him agreed that if he still wanted to race he would probably still be competitive against world-class athletes, and could most likely dominate at the masters level.”

Rod Milburn was my hero. I had a T&FN poster of him in my KU dorm room.

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October 20, 2014  No Comments

Root against Eugene? TrackTown bid for 2019 IAAF worlds pivotal

If Eugene loses bid for 2019 kiddie worlds, it might be open for 2018 WMA outdoor worlds.

Contrary to an August report in Athletics Weekly, WMA doesn’t have four bids in hand for the 2018 World Masters Athletics Outdoor Championships. That’s the word from my WMA source. In other words, we don’t know if Barcelona, Spain; Cardiff, Wales; Gothenburg, Sweden; and Toronto, Canada are in the running. My source says: “WMA … had before the September cutoff up to six bids of interest (not bids). Of these, several pulled out in July and by the final dates. … it was clear that we needed to consider other possible bids, so for this reason we have extended this to the 20th December, and thus the new deadline.” But I’ve also learned that my fantasy of Eugene hosting 2018 is a possibility. But only if it fails to win 2019 IAAF worlds, I’m told. Hayward Field at the University of Oregon would probably be shut down for a while to bring it up to IAAF standards (and seating) for 2019 worlds. Eugene is a finalist against Doha and Barcelona. “The host city for the IAAF World Championships 2019 will be decided in Monaco by IAAF Council on Tuesday 18 November 2014, following the final presentations made by the three candidates,” IAAF says.

October 19, 2014  2 Comments

Brazilian medalist banned for life as age-cheater, WMA confirms

Here's how Brazil shared news of the ban.

Here’s how Brazil shared the news of ban.

Francisco do Carmo Oliveira of Brazil, who won five medals in Porto Alegre worlds after lying about his age, has been banned for life, my source inside World Masters Athletics confirms. “This is a matter that is still ongoing, so until WMA [has] a final adjudication I will not give any official comment,” my council source says. “This was not a situation that WMA [was] aware of or made aware of by the affiliate. The athlete’s regional association seems to have found the problem and this was dealt with by them and ABRAM through the Regional Brazilian Veterans Association in Rio Janeiro and the court of Justice. From which they have then made the facts known to WMA. … I can substantiate the athlete has basically been banned for life from masters competition in Brazil and international competitions.” I’m also told that Francisco’s results have been removed from the 2013 booklet, thanks to its late printing. But he didn’t hold up the printing. “Arrangements are already [in] hand for the other athletes to receive the upgraded medals and hopefully the full WMA response will be on site in the coming week,” I’m told. That’s good. Meanwwhile, I’m awaiting replies from South American and Brazilian authorities. And I’ve also gotten the original Brazilian verdict in his case. Also note that the news broke in late May.

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October 18, 2014  One Comment

Brazen Brazilian, 76, won three M85 golds at Porto Alegre worlds

For at least five seasons leading up to Porto Alegre worlds, Francisco do Carmo Oliveira of Brazil competed with a claimed date of birth of June 8, 1927. That meant he was M85 at his home country’s 2013 world meet. But in a comment posted Friday, Italian statmeister Luigi Fasolato reported that Francisco was a fraud — found to have a DOB of June 8, 1937. Oops. Brazil banned him from competition and stripped Francisco of his national records, Luigi says and his affiliate confirms. So like, HOW THE BLEEPIN’ HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? The host country has some splaining to do. (And could that have been a factor in the holdup of the results booklet?) Has Portugal’s Jose Canelo been sent three gold medals? Jose was runner-up to Frankie in the 800, 1500 and 5000. Lots of questions: How was the fraudster found out? How come WMA hasn’t reported this? Who vetted his world age-group records? How did he get away with this? Stay tuned.

South American masters officials threw the book at the Brazilian.

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October 17, 2014  One Comment

W50 javelin champion branded as a ‘witch’ in India, flees attack

Dorothy from Kansas would have been toast had the WW of the W carried a 600mg javelin.

India’s news media are going crazy over a crime report involving a W50 national champion javelin thrower who was attacked as a “witch.” The gold medalist in question is Debajani Bora. She appears to be OK, but the news (if true, since Indian press accounts can be flaky) is startling. The best report says: “Bora (51), a javelin thrower, who had won a gold medal in the 2011 national masters in Haryana, was targeted by villagers allegedly at the instigation of the Naamgharia (head of a religious prayer hall). Police said the Naamgharia had branded her as a witch and instigated people to torture her. ‘Yesterday (Wednesday), the family of the athlete registered a complaint at Dokmoka police station in the district. Based on the complaint, we have arrested Naamgharia Radha Laskar and a probe is on,’ said Karbi Anglong Superintendent of Police M.J. Mahanta. Police said the Naamgharia organised some prayers in the Naamghar (the prayer hall) in her village Monday. ‘As the prayer was on, Laskar caught hold of Debajani and started beating her. He also instigated other villagers to hold her and beat her,’ said police.”

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October 17, 2014  No Comments

Porto Alegre results booklet is out soon — only a year late

WMA Prez Stan Perkins didn’t mask his pique. He’s PO’d that the Porto Alegre results booklet won’t be available till Halloween Eve.That’s scary late, since the meet ended Oct. 27, 2013. In a WMA post, he writes: “Finally we are able to announce that the Results Booklet from the 2013 WMA Stadia Championships held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has been finalised and is in print. A spokesperson for the LOC, Sinara Zorzo, has indicated that the posting of the booklet should commence on 30 October, 2014. The final draft of the booklet was viewed in the past week and it includes all results and a good range of action photographs from the competitions. It has been very disappointing that the issue of the results booklet has taken so long. Apparently, financial difficulties experienced by the championship organisers prevented them from meeting this responsibility. However, additional funding has now been provided to permit this final responsibility of the LOC to be delivered.” The results have been online for months, of course. I added them to mastershistory.org last weekend, in fact (along with the past seven USATF nationals). So I’m guilty of felony procrastination. But Porto Alegre had promised the books to entrants.

October 16, 2014  2 Comments

Quirky column salutes Charles Allie a year after IAAF honors

My favorite image of Charles. Too fast to shoot.

In a strangely written column, we learn that M65 sprint superstar Charles Allie was celebrated recently at a party drawing hundreds. “Over 300 people turned out to celebrate this champion. Wait, correction . . . 275 people came for him and 25 people slipped in for the free food and booze. I am just saying,” said Pittsburgh writer Bill Neal, who went on in countdown fashion: “:04—Olympic Gold medalist and World Champion Kevin “Freight Train” Parker presented the award and yours truly MC’ed the event…Please y’all know. :03—If that wasn’t enough, Sugar Ray Leo­nard’s brother and his wife were there.” Anyone have real details on party?

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October 15, 2014  7 Comments

WMA hoping for U.S. bid for worlds? Deadline delayed to Dec. 20

Hayward Field hosted WMA worlds in 1989. Time for an encore. Host the 2018 worlds, Ducks.

Even though WMA has a reported four bids in hand, Secretary Winston Thomas has announced that the deadline for submitting bids to host 2018 outdoor worlds is now Dec. 20, 2014, pushed back from Sept. 1. That would give USATF a chance to discuss a bid at its annual meeting in early December. Winston writes: “The Bid application, Bidders Guidelines and a Preliminary Contract are on the WMA Website under “Championships.” For all Affiliate, Cities or Towns with interest, please read the information and for any further information please contact the WMA Secretary (info@world-masters-athletics.org). Please also note that bid applications having now been extended to 20th December 2014 The Bid Application and all other documents fully completed should with the Secretary by this date.” Eugene can handle it. Wassup, TrackTown USA?

October 14, 2014  One Comment

Mensey’s trifecta: hammer, weight, superweight records in 1 day

Our 2013 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year Myrle Mensey continues to hammer the W65 records. Throwing Sept. 28 at Gary Cooper’s homegrown center in Troy, Missouri, she beat the listed WR in the 12-pound weight throw with a heave of 16.81 meters (55-1 3/4). Previous WR was 16.77 (55-0) by Holland’s Annie van Anholt in 2012. Myrle also extended her own American records in the hammer and 20-pound superweight to 39.61 (129-11 1/2) and 11.41 (37-5 1/4), respectively. Still looming is the W65 hammer WR of 44.38 (145-7 1/4) by Germany’s Jutta Schäfer way back in 1997. Myrle writes: “And I’m not finished. I think I got some better ones in me.” Results of the USATF-sanctioned throws meet where Myrle went bonkers are posted here. I converted the Word doc into a PDF here. Mega-mazel-tov to Myrle!

MM is 'mmmm, 'mmmm good in the hammer and weight throws.

Missouri’s MM is ‘Mmm Mmm Good’ in the hammer and weight throws.

October 13, 2014  5 Comments

Yank reveals Japan meet experience, officiating that hurt Olympian

Dennis competed at WMA Asian regional meet in steeple and other events.

M65 Dennis Scott competed at WMA Asian regional meet in 2K steeple and other events.

A month ago, I wrote about an American set to compete in the Asian Masters Athletics WMA regional meet in Japan. M65 steeplechaser Dennis Scott lives in the Philippines. [But I linked to the wrong Dennis Scott in mastersrankings.com. Sorry.] Also contrary to my posts, Dennis competed after all — albeit hobbled by injury. Dennis posted a detailed comment, saying: “The reason you didn’t see the steeple results is that you were looking at the page listing only the Japanese runners. What was supposed to be the 18th AMA was changed by Japan into a joint venue to include the Japanese masters national championships. They created a huge delay in event start times because they brought in 1,944 athletes (every city team and track club), and not just in masters age 35+, but starting from 25+. Whereas you might normally expect 3 athletes from one country in an event, the Japanese flooded almost everything with their people. In one of my events, the M65 1500m, there were 31 Japanese.” But his biggest revelation was about the atrocious officiating at the Japan meet, where one of his teammates (a long jumper and two-time Olympian) was injured after not being given a chance for warmup. See below.

Dennis wears a Kanya singlet sometimes, and has made friends with them. They call him "the white Kenyan."

Dennis Scott wears a Kenya singlet sometimes, and has made friends with that country’s runners. They call him "the white Kenyan."


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October 12, 2014  5 Comments