Yanks Bob Lida, Kathy Martin named WMA Athletes of the Year

M80 sprinter Bob Lida and W65 middle-distance star Kathy Martin on Monday were revealed as WMA Best Masters of 2017 — the first time two Americans have been honored as world athletes of the year at the same time. It’s the first time since 2010 (when Aussies Peter Crombie and Marie Kay were the winners) that a single country had the top M and W. (See the history.) It was Bob’s second time as AOY (after winning in 2012). The news emerged via leaks on Facebook and finally was posted on WMA’s homepage — in the form of a PDF chart. Pretty half-ass. A story with quotes, photos and stats would have done them justice. This year’s honors also include event-group winners, with two other Americans winning — M70 thrower William Harvey and M40 combined-venter Jeferson Souza. W60 combined-venter Rita Hanscom of San Diego was named a runner-up. Also new: AOY runner-ups were named — M65 Mexican race walker José Luis López Camarena and W70 British distance runner Angela Copson. Congrats to all, and razzies to WMA for taking so long to role out the news.

WMA’s chart of who won what was news to some of the winners. (PDF)

Print Friendly

March 5, 2018

8 Responses

  1. track fan - March 5, 2018

    Our US winners are the best of the best and well-deserving. Congratulations to Bob, Kathy, Rita, William, and Jefferson for their outstanding seasons and for this recognition.

  2. Tom Phillips - March 5, 2018

    When, if ever, is WMA going to get with it on this new-fangled internet stuff? Or do they, in their infinite wisdom, think it’s never really going to catch on, and therefore not worth their energy?

    Well done Bob & Kathy. And well done Angela, who extended her range (downwards) yesterday, to include a 60 metres event I had the privilege of photographing. That was just after she’d made a record breaking run over 800 metres. Still waiting for the official results of that.

  3. wayne bennett - March 5, 2018

    Bob certainly deserved this!! Congratulations!!

  4. christel donley - March 5, 2018

    EVERYBODY deserves it!
    My heartfelt congratulations!! The same goes to the other athletes, no matter, which country and event.

    Masters competition is a Life Time Accomplishment, let’s just stay healthy!

  5. Peter L. Taylor - March 5, 2018

    Congratulations to all the honorees. As for those from the US, I’m certainly glad that all 5 will be competing in Landover next week. It’s not uncommon for some of the big stars to avoid nationals, but I’m encouraged by the turnout for next week of not only the big 5 but of many other household names.

    Jeferson Souza and, especially, Rita Hanscom are apparently in need of very thorough workouts, as both have entered the pentathlon and, in Rita’s case, the 60 dash, 60 hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump and triple jump as well.

    Jeferson will be doing the shot put and 60 hurdles in addition to the pentathlon. Bob Lida will be a sight to behold, as will Kathy Martin. William Harvey should shine.

  6. Sherwood Sagedahl - March 7, 2018

    Congratulations to Bob & Kathy and all other honorees. You are an inspiration to all of us!

  7. Peter Crombie - March 7, 2018

    I note the list of awardees above and congratulate all of the winners who are well deserving. However the process of awarding these winners seems flawed.
    Each region is asked to determine its own method of selection and other than listing only 2 events no other criteria is provided for each region to make their choice.
    Some regions chose just one event and others more than 2, there is no consistency at all in the nominations.
    In addition the lateness of the announcement suggests that some regions are a shambles and did not have their nominations in by the due date and had to be cajoled to fulfill their obligations.
    The regions have no idea whether world records are of value, where the person won 4/5 events,the age graded performance, the standard of competition in the event or even any other very important extraneous matters.
    The criteria to make a decision should be set out in full detail so that there are no doubts what weightings are required.
    It seems that world records at the world indoors have been a major factor in the decisions, but most of these have been set by older athletes.We know that most world records are set by older athletes due to the improved health and longevity of athletes over the years. In respect of the men all winners with the exception of one were over 60 years of age with overall winners for the men both over 80. A similar situation applies to the women where all winners with one exception are over 65 and both overall places over 65.
    It beggars belief that the only really good athletes in the world worthy of these awards are all so old.
    The latest age graded tables, if they were used, are very old and out of date and not relevant in choosing these awards as they, because of reasons indicated above favour the older athletes.
    In addition the tables are now 5 year tables and not single year tables and if they are used to help determine winners by age graded performance they will always favour the person at the younger end of the age group. No-one knows if the tables were used. The results would be unfair if they were used, and in addition you will note that virtually all winners were in the lower age section of their age group. Does this mean that a person in the last 2/3 years of the age group has virtually no chance of winning any award? We all know that performance drops as we move through our age group.For example Charles Allie had 3 brilliant runs at 69 and was only beaten by another great athlete in Bill Collins who was younger. If yearly updated tables were used he may have had a better performance than those above him. In addition, if tables were used some events within a category are not compatible eg a 60m runner will always get a better comparative performance than a 200 or 400m runner.
    In the case of the US, Thaddeus Wilson was put forward as the sprints nominee but that must have been changed after the nominees were lodged.Sure, Bob Lida was clearly the best sprinter because he won the overall male award, but the US did not nominate him for Sprinter of the Year.
    Some people are also at a disadvantage because they cross 2 categories. For example a person may be a brilliant 400/800m runner but their individual results cover 2 categories.

  8. Dale Campbell - March 8, 2018

    Speaking of the WMA – does anyone know when the online entry site will be up-and-running?

Leave a Reply