International

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…


M85 David Carr’s radical range at Aussie nationals: 200 to 2K steeple

When you get to Malaga for 2018 outdoor worlds, buy a brew for your Aussie rivals. They’ve endured a long season. How long? They held their outdoor nationals last weekend in Perth. Now they have to peak again in five months. I suspect they’ll do fine up over in Spain. They have WMA superstars, of course. Perhaps the top performer in the four-day meet at Venues West in Perth was M85 steepler/sprinter David Carr. Yup, he ran the 200 in 38.84, 400 in 1:21.93 (which age-grades to 45.46), 800, 1500 and the 2K steeple in 11:10.86 (age-graded as a 3K…