IAAF drops recognition of WMA World Masters Athletes of the Year

Canada’s Christa Bortigon and American Charles Allie got to meet Boltman at 2013 IAAF Gala.

WMA has named world Athletes of the Year since 2004, usually in mid-October but sometimes in September. The 2016 top male and female (Andrew Jamieson of Australia and Irene Obera of USA) were’t revealed until January, however. In reply to a query on when this year’s dynamic duo would be announced, WMA Prez Stan Perkins reveals that the IAAF has dropped masters from its award mission. Stan writes: “The timeline for the selection of the winners has changed since the IAAF have altered the format for their presentation awards. They no longer hold a Gala Dinner and Presentation evening and they have reduced the number of awards that are made. Unfortunately, the IAAF Masters Athlete of the Year awards are no longer part of the presentation programme and therefore the WMA Council have considered and adopted a different format for future years.”

WMA President Stan Perkins posed with 2016 AOYs Andrew Jamieson (left) and Irene Obera at Daegu.

Stan continues:

Previously the nominations had to be submitted in sufficient time for the winners to be determined and then the names advised to the IAAF for inclusion in the award ceremony that took part on the third weekend of November each year.

Therefore WMA have determined to base the awards on a full calendar year and therefore the nominations are not due to be received until mid-January and a decision will follow shortly thereafter.

I cannot recall the exact date, but full details will be released soon. Some additional initiatives have also been approved and presentation of the awards will be a part of WMA World Championships each year.

As WMA noted after indoor worlds:

The mayor and City of Daegu hosted a VIP Reception to honor World Masters Athletics and all the athletes attending the 2017 Indoor championships in Daegu.

Each affiliate was invited to have two representatives attend and there was a large group of business and government people in attendance. The night featured great entertainment, excellent food and an opportunity for WMA to present the Athlete of the Year Awards to Andrew Jamieson of Australia and Irene Obera of the USA. The city was very proud to have the awards as part of this function.

I’m very sorry for elite masters athletes, since getting a free trip to Monaco for the IAAF World Athletics Gala was considered the ultimate prize.

You get to pose with Usain Bolt and hobnob with track and field royalty. But I guess Prez Seb Coe and crew have decided the party was too ostentatious.

Given the money the athletes make for IAAF, I wish they’d toss masters a bone, including a trip to a big bash.

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November 27, 2017

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