4 decades as friends and rivals: Aussie sprinters Kernaghan and Richards

Barrie Kernaghan (left) and Norm Richards are longtime rivals and teammates.Barrie Kernaghan (left) and Norm Richards are longtime rivals and teammates. Photo by Martin Kennealey

I tell newcomers to our niche that a major joy is joining a traveling tribe. The High Jump Tribe. The Throwers Tribe. The Hurdles Tribe. We hold reunions at nationals and worlds. Now comes a story Down Under by Laura Pond of Stirling Times — a tale of the Sprint Tribe. “Masters athletes Norm Richards (80) and Barrie Kernaghan (78) have enjoyed a friendly rivalry for nearly 40 years,” Laura writes. “Mr. Richards, of Woodlands, and Karrinyup resident Mr. Kernaghan competed at the recent Australian Masters Athletics Championships at the WA Athletics Stadium, achieving 12 medals between them.” Barrie says: “We have competed together all over the world in relay teams for Australia, winning various medals.” He’ll head to Spain in September to defend world titles in the 100 and 200. (But Norm is skipping Malaga.) Which brings me to ask: Who in masters track has the longest rivalry? It might be W80s Irene Obera or Christel Donley. Or could it be Canadian M85 Earl Fee or M90 New Zealander Alistair Mackay? Who have you competed against the longest?

About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at TrackCEO@aol.com or kens@timesofandiego.com. Story tips always welcome!

2 Comments on "4 decades as friends and rivals: Aussie sprinters Kernaghan and Richards"

  1. Tom Patsalis against same competitor in long and triple jump from high school all the way through age late 80s. Both multi time Champions in the jumps.

  2. Irene Obera in German documentary starts at 19:28 and lasts 2 minutes: https://www.zdf.de/dokumentation/3sat-dokus/uralt-und-blut-jung-100.html

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