Why is British team at Daegu worlds bigger than America’s?

Caroline Powell is a top medal contender in Daegu. Photo by Alan Ramage

Athletics Weekly reports that many of the nearly 600 Brits from their masters nationals are entered at Daegu worlds. Tom Phillips counted 109. This means a country a fifth the size in population of America has more entrants. I can only guess why. UK’ers take “athletics” more seriously. They have more disposable income. They have a much more developed club system with financial resources. Talk among yourselves. But there’s no question that the British version of Track & Field News kicks our butt on masters coverage. AW, as it’s known, has a great preview of Daegu. “Caroline Powell set a W60 400m world record when joining her age group a couple of years ago and – after competing in the three sprints in the British event – she heads the British women’s challenge in Daegu, alongside Carole Filer,” the story begins. “Powell will face Canadian Karla Del Grande, who is ranked just a fraction slower over 200m but looks favourite over 400m. Also in the W60 group, Filer goes in five jumps and hurdles as well as the pentathlon. Hurdlers Joe Appiah (M45) and Neil Tunstall (M55) add to British strength over the barriers, with Tunstall also taking in the 200m/400m double. Mensah Elliott, meanwhile, is down for the M40 hurdles.” So yeah, AW knows masters.

Ireland, not part of the Briish team (the way Northern Ireland is) has a ringer in M60 Joe Gough, the fall-at-the-finish runner-up at IAAF Portland world indoor meet a year ago.

Here’s what we learn from Facebook — and Joe’s track club (West Waterford Athletics Club):


West Waterford’s Joe Gough has his bags packed and is this weekend making the long journey to Daegu Korea where he is hoping to retain his world over 60 800 meters crown. Joe is now at the later end of his age category which is between 60 and 65, Joe is now 64 years of age.

Masters racing at this level is very competitive and of course there’s new athletes coming into your age bracket year on year, speaking to Joe during the week he is under no illusions about the task in hand, he had just spoken an hour earlier to international boxing coach Jimmy Payne and in discussion with Jimmy, Joe received much solos in the words of renowned coach Payne saying “Champions get to the top, but it is the great champions that can stay there.”

So with these wise words ringing in his ears Joe leaves tomorrow Thursday for Korea as part of the 25 strong Irish team who will be among the 100 countries represented.

Joe along with his coach Dick Murphy set out last August with the world indoors in mind, Dick decided along with his 64-year-old prodigy that 200 training session would be require between that day in August and the day he would be leaving to go to Korea, Joe’s training diary reads 206 completed sessions as he leaves tomorrow Thursday.

The Owning man does go to the championships in very good form, having started his indoor season at the Munster masters in Nenagh where he won the 800 meters in 2 minutes 21 seconds, then as a guest at the Lenister masters championships he took victory in the 800 meters 2 minutes 19 seconds, the following week he competed over 3 distances in the national masters in Athlone when he again recorded a triple, 200-400 and 800 again in the 800 his time improved to 2.17 so all’s heading in the right direction.

Joe as we know broke the world record over 800 in 2014 when he ran a super time of 2.14.06, but it will not be all about times in Daegu. it’s about trying his very best to retain his world crown but as we said at the outset it won’t be easy.

Joe reminisces of his early youth running around the roads as a youngster when living in Mitchell Tce, little did he know then at such and young age where his love of running would bring him and he knows how privileged and blessed he is to be still competing at the highest level.

Joe will start his mission on Tuesday 21st at 10.40 in the heats of the 800 meters with the final down for decision the following day Wednesday at 9.45 am. Yes, Joe will compete. Will he retain his world crown? Well, all we can say is that the Déise is behind you and may your feet have wings in Korea, Joe, to help you retain your dream.

Joe submitted a seed time of 2:16. The best of the rest appear to be Oleksandr Lysenko of Ukraine (2:17.35) and Wolfgang Kreemke of Germany (2:18.11).

Best of luck to all.

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March 18, 2017

4 Responses

  1. Tom Phillips - March 19, 2017


    You’ve got this completely wrong. The preview article in Britain’s Athletics Weekly magazine, which is what I think you have read says: “Many of the near-600 British veterans who were successful in…British Masters Champs are travelling to Daegu”. That is to say, we had 600 in the National championships last weekend, not that they are all going to Daegu! Why not trash the article and start again?!


  2. Tom Phillips - March 19, 2017

    I got the final Daegu entry list on the web site to load eventually, Ken. There are 109 Brits entered, compared to 102 from the USA.


  3. Ken Stone - March 19, 2017

    Great catch, Tom! I’ve rephrased headline and story. All the best to out British friends!

  4. Kenneth D Stone - March 19, 2017

    One-stop shop for all Daegu results:

    Results by day and heat sheets:

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