International

Italian candidate for 2022 WMA worlds shares video: L’Aquila has tourism chops

L’Aquila, Italy, apparently is first out of the blocks with a promotional video intended to win the 2022 WMA outdoor world meet. Other candidates mentioned are Tampere (Finland) and Gothenburg (Sweden). Gianni Lolli, general director and manager of LOC L’Aquila 2022, sent the clip and details. “L’Aquila stands at 721 meters above sea level in the heart of Region Abruzzo, which is its capital,” Gianni says. “It is 100K from Rome and 100K from Pescara on the Adriatic Sea. There will be three tracks and one stadium in which all the throwing events shall take place.” He continued: The track…


Got uniform? Team USA members reminded about Malaga worlds outfits

With 443 entrants, Team USA will send the fourth-largest national contingent to Malaga worlds in September — after host Spain (1,792), UK (704) and Germany (611). According to WMA, the all-comers meet also known at the World Masters Athletics Championships – Stadia will have almost 8,200 athletes. Yowza. Already we’re hearing worries about field events: How will so many people with so many tries get to finish before Christmas? British Olympian and masters WR man Roald Bradstock, a last-minute entry for UK — although he lives in Florida and threw in the U.S. Olympic Trials (duel citizenship) — wrote on…


Irish sub-4 miler aiming for 2020 Toronto worlds, if he can overcome injuries

Irish media and a crowd-funding site are sharing the tragic story of one-time sub-4 miler Andrew Walker, 41, who had been training for 2020 Toronto worlds. “The Kildare native is out of immediate danger but suffered multiple injuries including broken ribs and sternum. He also damaged his spleen, lungs and heart but is now recovering after undergoing surgery,” The Independent said of his Saturday injury. GoGetFunding.com said: “Andrew was hit by a car in his adopted home of Santa Brigída in Gran Canaria, leaving him in a critical condition with multiple internal injuries and shattered bones. His lungs and spleen…


Indian masters athlete demands new governing body in letter to the editor

Sprinter Opinder Sekhon of the far north Indian city of Chandigarh could have written a letter to the editor about any issue in the nation of 1.3 billion. But no. She writes about masters track. So it’s notable that her letter to The Tribune of India calls out authorities. She writes: “The Sports Authority of India should form a masters’ athletics organisation in the country. Veteran athletes are fed up with the three organisations simultaneously running in and around Chandigarh. The new organisation should have elected members. Master athletes are roped in for the well-being of senior athletes. Unfortunately, they…


Vesa Lappalainen of Finland throws hat in ring for WMA presidency

On Father’s Day, I sent email to two candidates for WMA president, seeking responses to two dozen questions. Not sure of my email address for Germany’s Margit Jungmann, I CC’d current prez Stan Perkins of Australia. Soon I got a note from Stan: “Are you aware that Vesa Lappalainen from Finland is also a candidate for the Presidency?” Oops, nope. Turns out Vesa is a recent entry — perhaps the last couple weeks. This helps U.S. candidate Gary Snyder, since the European vote could be split, giving our former national masters chair a better shot in voting at Malaga’s General…


Kenyan ‘trials’ for Málaga worlds? Chinese report is clueless or confused

China’s Xinhua news agency reports from Nairobi that Kenya will send athletes to Málaga worlds. But something got lost in translation. “Rose Tata-Muya, Masters Athletics Kenya Secretary General, said trials will be held on July 21 and July 22 in Iten, located in the Rift Valley area which is the cradle of Kenyan athletics,” the report said. Trials? Well, maybe that’s their way of saying they’ll use a “qualifying meet” to decide who gets travel subsidies. Because, of course, it’s an all-comers meet open to anyone with the cash to enter. A further clue: “We require 20,000 U.S. dollars to…


Mondo in Málaga: Is that your favorite track and field surface?

At WMA worlds in September, sprinters will be pleased to learn, Mondo is the surface of at least one track — at the University of Málaga. But that’s considered a secondary venue. The main one is the City of Málaga’s combined football (soccer) and athletics (track) stadium. Unsure which spikes are recommended for the non-Mondo stadium, but pyramid and Christmas tree spikes (specified for Mondo) may suffice for all. In any case, the 2012 and 2016 Olympics were contested on Mondo — because it’s speed friendly. (I’ve heard that distance runners have a problem with it, but oh well.) What…


Toronto’s Doug Smith shares great news: He’s the picture of health

Doug “Shaggy” Smith of Ontario – the dreadlocked vegan photographer and steeplechasing M65 meet director of 2020 Toronto worlds — gave his 1,400 Facebook friends a mighty scare on April 6. He wrote: “Not feeling well lately — many of the symptoms of a slow-burn heart attack.” He refused an ambulance but got to the ER. Initial tests were OK, except for high blood pressure. Over the next five weeks, Doug shared updates on various tests, all with his trademark sense of humor. On Thursday, we finally got a chance to exhale. He posted: “Great news from the cardiologist today…….


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

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:…


Masters nationals in India are all over the map — and calendar

Last month, the 38th National Masters Athletics Championships of India were held at Mangala Stadium in Mangaluru. On Wednesday, it was reported that the 40th National Masters Athletics Championships 2019 will be held in Manipur “per a statement issued by Masters Athletics Federation of India (MAFI).” Say what? How did a year get skipped? Don’t ask. And don’t tell WMA that the 39th National Masters Athletics Championships were held at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, in late February. The mess of competing national governing bodies continues unabated in 1.3 Billion Land. Even though a year ago I reported how India’s version…