AMA meet results are rolling in — but who can read Japanese?

So I found this Facebook page focused on the Asian Masters Athletics Championships. I see a clip of a Japanese paper showing a bunch of masters tracksters and probably meet results. But I skipped Japanese as a Second Language. Sorry. In any case, the medals are heavy duty. (I just can’t wait for the 116-year-old sprinter’s times!)

Medals at AMA regionals, a WMA-sanctioned event despite WMA ignoring it.

September 19, 2014  5 Comments

American set for M65 steeple at Asian Masters Athletics meet

Anyone know how Dennis, a Yank, got on foreign team?

The 18th Asian Masters Athletics Championships start Friday in Japan, but it’s pretty much being ignored by WMA. Nothing about the five-day meet on its website. Hard to find a meet site either. (AMA is AWOL as well.) But aside from 116-year-old phantom sprinters, what can we look forward to? How about an American M65 steepler? According to a Filipino paper, “Also joining the (Philippines) team are American steeplechaser Dennis Scott (based in Butuan City).” Say what? How do I join? A blog even shows Dennis and the team. But the sportswriter goes off the deep end when he declares: “But do you know there is still a 100-year-old athlete from India who still participates in the World Masters? Oh, speaking of World Masters we are excited as the venue next year will be in France. Guess who will be competing, Haile Gerbselasie, Linford Christie, Marlene Ottey, Frank Shorter, Gail Devers and Bill Rodgers.” Yup, count on “Marlene” Ottey showing and Geb. First person to find a results link to AMA meet gets bragging rights.

September 18, 2014  4 Comments

Irie Hill, Guido Müller are Europe’s picks for World Best Masters

Irie had to lift her thumbs a lot in 2014.

The Eurovets have revealed their nominees for IAAF World Best Masters Athletes of the Year: M75 sprinter/hurdler Guido Müller of Germany and W45 vaulter Irie Hill of UK. Both were selected by the EVAA (now EMA) Council. “In all competitions in pole vault, Irie is superior to the other veterans in W45. At the WMA Indoor Championships in Budapest March 26 she won with the World Record 3.55, 75 centimetres before the second woman,” the Eurovets say. “In the European Veterans Championships in Izmir, August 2014 her victory result was 3.30, a margin with 30 centimetres to the second woman. Irie is regular competitor at European and World championships and she has broken the World Records Indoor and Outdoor six times in 2014. She is an enthusiastic Master Pole Vaulter and with her results had motivate women all over Europe and World.”

Guido is God. Wait, I’ve said that before. OK, Guido is God of Gods.

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September 17, 2014  3 Comments

Ontario Masters AoYs: role model in how to honor year’s best

Gaby and Mr. T were named top jumpers.

Gaby and Mr. T were named top jumpers in province.

Some names are familiar. Others are revelations (to me). Here are your Ontario Masters Event-Group Athletes of the Year. (And why should you care? Because Ontario is challenging other subnational governing bodies to honor their best performers. In USATF, why not regional AoYs?) Female Throws: Marie-Josée Le Jour. Male Throws: Boris Zaitchouk. Female Sprints / Hurdles: Karla Del Grande. Male Sprints / Hurdle: Earl Fee. Female Jumps: Gaby Szanto. Male Jumps: Thevarajan Sinnathurai. Male Combined Events: Ralph Cilevitz. Male Distance / Walks Co-Winners: Paul Osland and Michael Sherar. Female Distance / Walks: Krista DuChene. Many of these set world records, so one wonders: Who are Ontario’s overall Athletes of the Year? The answer will be revealed at a Sept. 27 awards banquet in Toronto (similar to what USATF does at outdoor nationals). One last query: How do other nation-states honor their best?

September 16, 2014  2 Comments

Nolan Shaheed escapes from N.Y. — with another great mile

Mary Cain has honor of standing with Nolan.

Mary Cain has honor of standing with Nolan.

Nolan Shaheed’s season is ending the way it began — in New York state with a great mile performance. In January, when he was 64, he ran 5:03.07 at the Hartshorne indoor mile. On Saturday, at 65, he clocked 5:07 to win his age group in the Fifth Avenue Mile. Nolan graciously wrote me from home in Pasadena, saying: “Just got back from winning the George Sheehan mile division. … 64-year-old Ronville Gravesande was second in 5:17 and 68-year-old Noel Haynes was third in 5:26. Thomas Hartshorne, Tony Plaster and Harry Nolan were among the top runners of that race and there were quite a few masters in the 40s and 50s races. In the elite women’s race, a 40-year-old Canadian ran 4:40!!! She came in last and no one paid attention to her but she actually ran the best race of the nearly 6,000 runners who competed.” That’s Nolan for you — sharing the glory. (It was Diane Cummins who took 18th in 4:40.2, BTW.) Nolan added: “My greatest thrill was meeting Mary Cain and taking a picture with her after the race. She is an outstanding athlete and I am a big fan of hers. .. . It was a fantastic experience.”

Nolan tops age-group results from Fifth Avenue Mile.

Nolan tops age-group results from Fifth Avenue Mile — at 3:56 age-graded!

September 15, 2014  9 Comments

Canadian throws meet attracts ex-Masters Chair George Mathews

George loves to throw.

Eight years ago, George Mathews bowed out of USATF masters politics (and chairmanship of the national committee), but he’ll never quit throwing. He’s a hammer specialist. His latest ball-and-chain foray was in Richmond, British Columbia. Notes a local newspaper story: “The festival also attracted many top-level masters athletes, including Marie-Josee Le Jour from the University of Toronto club. She won the women’s discus event with a throw of 44.91 metres. And veteran U.S. thrower George Mathews, 71, threw an impressive 46.71 metres (153-3) in the men’s hammer throw event.” The facility is called first-rate: “This is one of a few hammer cages nationally that meet the stringent requirements of the IAAF for international-calibre meets, so we are very excited to be able to host future meets that will attract a top level of competition,” said one organizer.

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September 14, 2014  2 Comments

Indian athlete mortgages land to pay way to Asian masters meet

What would Gandhi do? (Fast for a ticket to meet?)

Reporting from Mangaldai in northeast India, local papers are telling the story of Kunja Lata Boro, a “poor but talented female athlete from a remote area of the State, who has been compelled to sell her power tiller and keep her agri land on mortgage only to meet the financial expenditure to represent the Indian national team in the 18th Asian Masters Athletics Championship to be held at Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture in Japan from September 19 to 23.” Another account appeared in the Assam Tribune. It said: “Though both [needy athletes] approached the State Government, Sports Department and Deputy Commissioner for financial assistance, they returned empty-handed. However Minister of State for Fisheries, Information & Public Relations Basanta Das has offered them an amount of Rs 10,000 each.” This puts new spin on the offer of money for medals. Westerners sacrifice for track travel, no doubt, but has anyone taken out a mortgage?

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September 13, 2014  One Comment

Nevada Senior Games: last chance to qualify for 2015 nationals?

Track season is on its last legs, so you’re s—outtaluck if you want to qualify for the 2015 National Senior Games, right? Not so fast. As we learn from the Las Vegas paper, the Nevada Senior Games provide a last-chance meet for next year’s NSG in Minneapolis. The story says: “Nevada is considered an ‘open state,’ meaning residents from other states and countries may participate in the Nevada games to qualify for the U.S. nationals. ….” An organizer says: “Since we’re smaller and later in the year, we do get quite a few out-of-state participants that perhaps didn’t qualify in their state, so they’re trying to qualify through ours.” Nice! Just put up with the heat. Here’s info on the Nevada SG, set for Sept. 22 to Oct. 12.

September 12, 2014  12 Comments

Pan Pacific Masters Games to hold symposium on masters sport

Whether you’re a disease or music genre, you haven’t made it until you’ve become the subject of a symposium. So check it out! Part of the Pan Pacific Masters Games in November is a two-day symposium on masters sports. We are told: “The aim of the conference is simple. To bring together some of the world’s leading masters athlete research scientists and practitioners to share their knowledge with masters athletes, coaches, sport administrators, health promoters, clinicians and health allied health practitioners working with masters athletes and older exercisers.” Cool. One of the speakers is our old friend Peter Raeburn, who literally wrote the book on the niche. The track meet, BTW, is at City of Gold Coast Athletics Track. Good on you, guys!

Poor cropping but great shot on site. That’s how to put your brain in the game!

September 11, 2014  No Comments

Why are Japanese newspapers not identifying M116 sprinter?

DG’s image (and full name) is easy to find.

Gotta give credit to Yomiuri Shimbun, another major Japanese newspaper. Its own story about the “116-year-old” sprinter entered at Asian WMA regionals showed some healthy skepticism. But it quoted the president of the Asia Masters Athletics as saying: “But there might really be a 116-year-old person in India.” Whatever. But at least we learn the events the gent is tackling: the 100, 200, 400 and 800. What we don’t learn (from this or the previous article) is the guy’s name. What gives? Face-saving? Elder-honoring? Google Dharmapal Gujjar and see who fingers the guy. Grow a pair, Japan press.

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September 10, 2014  One Comment