Bob Lida, Lyn Ventris named IAAF Best Masters of Year 2012

American M75 sprinter Bob Lida will soon be able to say “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” when he and W55 Aussie star Lyn Ventris are feted at the IAAF Gala in Barcelona as IAAF Best Masters of the Year. WMA today announced the choice of Bob and Lyn as the year’s best masters athletes. “The selection for the 2012 WMA Best Masters has been completed,” writes WMA Secretary Winston Thomas. “From a total of five women and three men nominations by the regions the WMA Council’s selection were (Lida and Ventris). This was the closest vote for the women title with one vote in the result. Congratulations go to all the entrants listed below. The two athletes are invited to attend the IAAF Centenary celebration and IAF Gala in Barcelona, on the 23-24 November 2012.” Lyn is a repeat choice, so I’m afraid Aussie Stan Perkins, the WMA president, again put his finger on the scale, denying Christa Bortignon of Canada her due recognition.

Bob is No. 1 in world as WMA’s choice for IAAF top masters male athlete.

Lyn Ventris (55) AUS.
Christa Bortignon (75) CAN
Angela Copson (65) GB/NI
Dinah Heymans (45) RSA
Solange Witteveen (36) ARG
Robert Lida (75) USA
Andrew Jamieson (65) AUS
Vladmir Vybostok (65) SVK

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September 28, 2012

22 Responses

  1. Mary Harada - September 28, 2012

    well deserved to all who were nominated and congratulations to the two who were elected.

  2. Peter Taylor - September 28, 2012

    Hearty congratulations to Bob. When you’re 75 and run 13.49 in the 100 and 27.73 in the 200, as Bob did in Lisle, they’d better give you something.

    I’ve had the pleasure of announcing two of the other athletes listed above. Christa Bortignon of Canada, you are a remarkable talent with a very engaging manner. Solange Witteveen, I enjoyed announcing you in Bloomington and hope to see you again. Argentina should be proud of you.

  3. Rob Jerome - September 28, 2012

    If Christa were American, there’s a good chance she’d be a Sullivan Award nominee, even in an Olympic year.

    Twelve World Records this year…truly remarkable.

  4. Doug Smith - September 28, 2012

    My sincerest congratulations, Bob. Well deserved, indeed!

  5. Liz Palmer - September 28, 2012

    I agree with Ken on the choice of Lyn Ventris over Christa Bortignon. Lyn was the winner in 2011 as well as 2012. Not taking anything away from Lyn’s wonderful accomplishments this year, but I think Christa would have been the more deserving choice.
    Huge congratulations to Bob Lida…an incredible athlete and gentleman.

  6. Michelle Williams - September 28, 2012

    All five women and three men nominated for the WMA best athlete 2012 have achieved fantastic results and I am sure are all worthy of winning.
    But there can only be one male and female voted the winner.
    Why do people have to have such negativeity to who wins!
    Absolute Congratulations to Bob Lida (USA) on being voted best male.
    Congraulations also to Lyn Ventris(AUS) – a very worthy winner with 11 world records in W55 race walking this year and a 20Km road walk time of 1.40.42 (aged graded percentage of 101.65%) beating the previous record held by Waltraud Seiler (GER) set in 1996 by more than 13 minutes. Previous record being 1.53.45. At all meets that Lyn competed in this year as a W55 she bettered all times by all other younger age groups.
    There are always going to be contests when it comes to awards but lets not deminish a winners recognition.

  7. Ken Stone - September 28, 2012

    Posting a comment on behalf of an overseas friend:

    Anyone who saw how Ventris dominated in Jyvaskyla would have no doubts about her selection. No thumb on the scales required.

    Quick Silver
    Hong Kong

  8. Mike May - September 28, 2012

    Congratulations to Bob, who I met in Jyvaskyla. As an M50 I’m awed to see an M75 doing the sort of times I aim for when not injured.

  9. Roger Pierce - September 29, 2012

    Your accomplishments are astonishing,and you are a force of Nature flying across the Mondo surface in your races.
    This is a well deserved honor given to a truly humble and talented human being.
    Good on ya Mate.

  10. Rick Riddle - September 29, 2012

    You are very deserving Mr. Lida. Congratulations, and have a great time in Barcelona!

  11. Anonymous - September 29, 2012

    For #6, I don’t see anything negative or diminishing posted here about any athletes. Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners.

  12. Steven Bowles - September 29, 2012

    Bob,congrats .You have set new standards in the dashes .You are a classy modest superstar .

  13. Terry Parks - September 29, 2012

    Christa Bortignon had an incredible year and I would have very much liked for her to get the Female Athlete of the Year award. I hope that she makes the trip to Brazil and lets the world see her brilliance.

  14. SID HOWARD - September 29, 2012


  15. Craig Davis - September 29, 2012

    Great Job, Well Deserved and enjoy the trip. Take the plane because I know you feel you can get there FASTER with your own two legs….. Amazing runs at LISLE. It was an honor to watch your races.

  16. Paul Edens - September 30, 2012

    Bob, you have achieved everything in your running career that most of us only dream of. It takes a tremendous amount of work to get to your level of accomplishment and you have definitely earned every bit of your reward for a job well done. The trip to Barcelona is the icing on the cake. I’ve never met a more humble athlete than you. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

  17. Bob Cozens - September 30, 2012

    Congratulations Bob. I hope you have a good time in Barcelona.

    Your teammate


  18. Sherwood Sagedahl - October 1, 2012

    Bob, congratulations!
    You are an inspiration to all of us.
    Your accomplishments motivate me to do my best!

  19. Bridget Cushen - October 1, 2012

    The WMA Guidelines for nomination of the Best Male/Female Athletes of the Year is limited to the best 3 performances achieved between 1 September 2011-31 August 2012. I am puzzled therefore why Lyn Ventris’s 2011 peformances are highlighted. She did not compete in her Regional Championships. She set WRs in the 3,000m 3km in Perth in March, a WR in the WMA Indoor 3km and won the 10km WMA road walk in a World Best time on a snow covered road where Judging must have been difficult. The 3000m is no longer an IAAF event. Angela Copson’s 10,000m W65 WR 39.43.81sec in June = 107.25% on the WMA Tables,her 1500m WR and her 5000m WR (waiting ratification) at the British Championships = 102.43% and 102.25%. She also set a WR 3,000m and was part of the WR GBR W60 4 x 400m relay team at the European Championships in August. I am not in a position to say whether her 3.22.22sec age group win in the London marathon is superior to Lyn’s 50km Walk. I am not sure either if all WMA Council Members voted, if so, one country would have 2 votes. The WMA criteria is not very transparent. If votes are based on all 2011/12 WRs, then a sprightly 90-year old could notch up “a cricket score” by entering their Region/WMA championships 60m Indoor, 100/200 plus all the Field Events as they are, comparatively, “soft” records, but a man breaking the WR in either the M45/50 groups 200m (consistently the largest entry and fiercest competitive event at both Region/WMA Championships), would practically be excluded. What input does our many Statisticians have? These are personal observations.

  20. Weia Reinboud - October 1, 2012

    As far as I know the regions are just asked which candidates they see, no counting of medals and records and no gradings.

  21. Christa Bortignon - October 2, 2012

    In view of the ongoing discussion of the Athlete of the year, I would like to take this opportunity and thank everyone for their kind comments and e-mails. Having participated in track and field for only 3 years, I made many new friends and found a truely fulfilling sport.Just to clear up a couple of facts.In 2012,I actually broke listed world records 23 times in 11 different events. I won 7 gold medals each in Jyvaeskylae and at the NCCWMA in Saint John, NB, and broke world records in both meets. However, I could not see myself walking 50km and doing this for many years. So, congratulation to Lyn and “Happy Birthday”.

  22. Annie Compton - October 3, 2012

    Congratulations to Lyn. Setting a World
    Record that is faster than the younger
    age-group is truly amazing.

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