WMA counts 53 world records at Budapest; Olga shortchanged

World Masters Athletics has posted a list of 53 world records (indoor and out) set at Budapest last week. Many were news to me. But Olga Kotelko, who turned 95 just before worlds, didn’t get credit for one record — the high jump. She answered an email query (as part of research I’m doing for a National Masters News report on Budapest). Olga wrote: “It seems as though I didn’t know when to stop jumping in my high jump event as my energy level was so high.” She ultimately cleared 0.78 meters (2-6 3/4) — making her the first W95 jumper on record. WMA says she set eight WRs, so Olga won’t complain. But I’d like to see her name in the record books as the oldest female vertical jumper in history. I hope that’s the only oversight. World records are priceless.

Olga does a modified scissors/flop, as captured by Tom Phillips at Budapest.

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April 10, 2014

4 Responses

  1. Ken Stone - April 10, 2014

    I’m also announcing my candidacy for president of the OKFC — Olga Kotelko Fan Club.

  2. Rob Jerome - April 11, 2014

    You’ve got my vote, Ken.

    In addition to being a great athlete at age 95, Olga is also totally tech and media savvy. In Budapest, she gave me a card promoting her website (olgakotelko.com) and her forthcoming memoir “Olga: The OK Way to a Healthy, Happy Life”.

    When I asked her if release of her autobiography might cramp sales of “What Makes Olga Run?”, she said, “Buy both!”

    By the way, I have been asked by the American Psychological Association to review “What Makes Olga Run?” When I told them that I know Olga, they said if I made that disclosure in my review, it would still be O.K.

  3. Rob Jerome - April 11, 2014

    On that list of Budapest world records, somebody to watch (in 25 years) to challenge some of Olga’s records is Reit Jonkers-Slegers of the Netherlands, who broke the W70 Pentathlon WR by almost 300 points with a total of 4680.

    I photographed her running the Pentathlon hurdles and she was amazing.

    Maybe I’ve been blind, but I’ve never noticed her before. Maybe Weia can provide some info on her.

  4. Tom Phillips - April 11, 2014

    I’m amazed. I watched Olga jump at least four world records with successive jumps. You mean the small minds at WMA have found reasons to deny her?

    And yes, Rob, Reit is great. Been shooting her for a while now, and i hope she’ll remain a star for a long time to come.

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