Canadian women destroy W70 world record in the 4×4
Alberta Masters director Donna Dixon writes, via Doug Smith in Ontario: “I am pleased to advise that the W70 team of Mary McCarron-Egner, Helly Visser, Louise Reed and Diane Palmason shattered the world record for W70 4×400 relay at a meet at Foothills Track in Calgary last night (Tuesday, Sept. 9). They ran 6:12.25, and the old record was 6:26.99 (held by the U.S. team of Barbara Jordan, Eve Pell, Mary Harada and Jeanne Daprano set at 2007 Riccione worlds). Despite cold, wet and windy conditions, they ran even faster than they had in Regina when they were unfortunately DQ’d. CBC and CTV covered the story and there will be coverage on the Calgary stations. I have told the ladies they should go after the world indoor record next!” (Actually, WMA doesn’t even list a W70 indoor 4×4 best!)
Their 6:12.25 averages to 1:33 per leg. This may be a soft record, but it’s still a record. Diane Palmason probably ran the fastest leg, since she’s the Canadian national record holder in the W70 400 with a 1:18.88 this past June.
And just FYI: The European W70 record for the 4×4 is 7.31.43 by a Russian team at 2005 San Sebastian worlds. (So 6:12.25 isn’t so soft after all). Congrats to the Canucks!
Another piece of big Canadian news is that world champion sprinter/hurdler Harold Morioka is back after recent surgery. According to this news report about the B.C. Senior Games:
Harold Morioka hadn’t run since July, the last time a doctor cut into his knee. After five knee operations and one back operation, he wasn’t sure how he would perform in the men’s medley relay. He needn’t have worried. The 65-year-old retired school teacher and world 400m record-holder ran like he had springs on his feet, leading the Fraser Valley to gold.
In an event that includes runs of 600m, 200m, 400m and 800m Morioka ran the 200 and helped Tony Bodowski, Phil Bell and Lee Friesen to the top of the podium.
“It was just OK, otherwise I’d be doing the 200, 400 and 800 events,” said Morikoka, part of a 4x400m relay team that set a world indoor record (4:13:30) for 60-69-year-olds a few months ago in Kamloops. “This is the first time I’ve run since I had my last knee operation two months ago,” he said. “I’ll continue to run as long as I can set an example.”
Here’s a photo by Alan Lam of the new W70 record holders, with (left to right) Mary, Helly, Louise and Diane.