How do you grade the local organizers of Sacramento worlds?
Foreign athletes, used to more convenient public transit, were critical of the Sacramento shuttle system, and some were upset over the absence of showers at the stadia, according to a Sacramento Bee story and my own chats with entrants at worlds. With rare exceptions, athletes found the officiating and meet experience excellent and humane. (A rare exception was M70 Bob Ward, a world champ who asked for a refund after his throws pentathlon at Sacramento City College, which he called a “Three Stooges” movie.) But off the track, the LOC took some hits. So how did you rate the organizers?
Meanwhile, here’s the final wrap on worlds by Bob Burns of the Sacramento Sports Commission:
Sacramento puts on a good show for the world
The 2011 World Masters Athletics (WMA) Championships came to a roaring conclusion Sunday as nine world records were set on the final day of the 10-day competition.
The WMA Championships were one of the biggest and most complex sporting events ever hosted by Sacramento. The competition featured 4,800 entrants from 93 countries ranging in age from 35 to 97. The July 6-17 event consisted of 10 days of running, jumping, throwing, hurdling and walking at six different sites.
The WMA Championships provided the Sacramento region with an economic boost estimated to be between $12 million and $20 million.
Following Sunday eveningâ€™s brief closing ceremony, Sacramento Sports Commission executive director John McCasey called the event a tremendous success.
â€śWe knew this was going to be an enormously difficult event to put on, and we were right,â€ť McCasey said. â€śI canâ€™t put into words how proud I am of everyone who worked so hard to make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I really think Sacramento put its best foot forward for this one.â€ť
A total of 38 WMA world records were either broken or tied in Sacramento. Four relay teams from the United States set new world standards Sunday, as did a pair of Australian relay teams and three steeplechasers.
Ron Robertson, a 70-year-old from New Zealand, set three individual records over the course of the WMA Championships, including a new mark in Sundayâ€™s 2,000-meter steeplechase of 7 minutes, 10.03 seconds. Robertsonâ€™s steeplechase time broke the previous M70 world record by a preposterous 50 seconds and was faster than the winners of the M65 and M60 age groups on Sunday. Robertson also set M70 records in the 5,000 meters (18:15.53) and 1,500 meters (4:52.95).
World Masters Athletics does not select an outstanding performer at its championships, but Robertson and Ed Whitlock of Canada would have been leading contenders for top honors in Sacramento.
Whitlock, an 80-year-old from Milton, Ontario who runs two hours a day in a cemetery near his home, ran faster in Sacramento than the listed world marks in the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
Robertson and Whitlock had plenty of extraordinary company in Sacramento. Hiroo Tanaka of Japan won the 100, 200 and 400 meters in the menâ€™s 80-84 age group, eclipsing the current record in the 200. Canadaâ€™s Oleg Kotelko won nine individual gold medals in the womenâ€™s 90-94 division, breaking her own world record in the hammer throw. Australian distance standout Keith Bateman won four distance races in the M55 category â€“ the 8,000-meter cross country event at Granite Regional Park as well the 1,500 and 5,000 meters on the track and the marathon on the road. Bateman set a world record of 4:12.35 in the 1,500 meters.
The United States contingent, numbering nearly 2,000 athletes, collected 389 medals overall, including 138 gold. The list of U.S. stars goes on and on, perhaps starting with Johnye Valien, an 86-year-old wonder from Los Angeles. Valien won six gold medals (pole vault, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put and javelin), setting a world record in the pole vault by clearing 4 feet 1ÂĽ inches.
On Sunday, Lisa Ryan, of Sioux City, Iowa, and Lisa Valle, of Albuquerque, N.M., set back-to-back records in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. Valle set a W45 mark of 6:58.89, then watched Ryan break her W40 record with a time of 6:49.89.
A pair of Sacramento-area athletes claimed gold medals Sunday in the womenâ€™s 50-54 4×100 relay. Folsom residents Liz Palmer and Amanda Scotti ran legs on the U.S. teamâ€™s 51.88-second victory.
World Masters Athletics records set during
the 2011 WMA Championships, Sacramento
M90 80-meter hurdles â€“ Ralph Maxwell, United States, 21.62 seconds
W50 heptathlon â€“ Marie Kay, Australia, 6202 points
M90 decathlon â€“ Ralph Maxwell, United States, 7069 points
W70 heptathlon â€“ Erika Sauer, Germany, 5352 points
W90 hammer throw â€“ Olga Kotelko, Canada, 54 feet, 10 inches
W85 pole vault â€“ Johnye Valien, United States, 4 feet, 1ÂĽ inches
W95 100 meters â€“ Man Kaur, Indonesia, 1:01.87
M80 5,000 meters â€“ Ed Whitlock, Canada, 42:39.95 (surpasses existing WMA-approved record; Whitlock has a faster pending time)
M80 10,000 meters â€“ Ed Whitlock, Canada, 42:39.95
W65 300 hurdles â€“ Marge Allison, Australia, 54.06
M70 5,000 meters â€“ Ron Robertson, New Zealand, 18:15.53
W75 200 hurdles â€“ Barbara Jordan, United States, 41.71
M85 200 hurdles â€“ Hugo Delgado, Peru, 45.13
W50 weight throw â€“ Oneithea Lewis, United States, 61 feet, 6Â˝ inches
M75 javelin â€“ Vladimir Porokhin, Russia, 146 feet, 1 inch
M65 10-kilometer race walk â€“ Andrew Jamieson, Australia, 50:11.38
M70 javelin â€“ Gary Stenlund, United States, 171 feet, 4 inches
M80 200 meters â€“ Hiroo Tanaka, Japan, 30.78 (surpasses existing WMA-approved world record; Tanaka has a faster pending time)
M95 hammer â€“ Antonio Fonseca, Brazil, 72 feet, 2Â˝ inches
M55 1,500 meters â€“ Keith Bateman, Australia, 4:12.35
M70 1,500 meters â€“ Ron Robertson, New Zealand, 4:52.95
M80 1,500 meters â€“ Ed Whitlock, Canada, 5:48.93
W80 throws pentathlon â€“ Rachel Hanssens, Belgium, 4788 points
M60 20-kilometer race walk â€“ Andrew Jamieson, Australia, 1:42:56.80
W50 20-kilometer race walk â€“ Lynette Ventris, Australia, 1:42:19.35
W70 400 meters â€“ Anne Stobaus, Australia, 1:16.63
W85 400 meters â€“ Patricia Peterson, United States, 2:07.79
M65 pole vault â€“ John Altendorf, United States, 12 feet, 7ÂĽ inches
W50 throws pentathlon â€“ Elrike Engelhardt, Germany, 4563 points
W40 2,000-meter steeplechase â€“ Lisa Ryan, United States, 6:49:58
W45 2,000-meter steeplechase â€“ Lisa Valle, United States, 6:58.89
M70 2,000-meter steeplechase â€“ Ron Robertson, New Zealand, 7:10.03
W75 4×100 relay â€“ United States, 1:10.19
M60 4×100 relay â€“ United States, 47.93
W60 4×400 relay â€“ Australia, 4:55.53
M50 4×400 relay â€“ United States, 3:31.76
W45 4×400 relay â€“ Australia, 4:08.32 (equals world record)
M45 4×400 relay â€“ United States, 3:24.84