Rants

Florida M65 thrower rips Malaga facilities in letter to WMA President Margit Jungmann

Guy Dirkin of Florida had a good Malaga. As an M65 thrower, competing for Britain, he won silver in the hammer and was 23 points away from bronze in the throws pentathlon. But he wasn’t happy with the facilities and let the new WMA president know in a letter I obtained. “Dear Margit,” he wrote Germany’s Margit Jungmann, the newly elected leader. “Please find attached a letter to you regarding the WMA’s managerial performance at the recent Malaga World Championships and past Championships. This correspondence has been provoked by multiple participant complaints, primarily around facilities. The scope of this letter restricts coverage to…


Stan Perkins’ WMA Marketing and Communications Committee short on communications so far

Old WMA presidents never die. They just get named committee chairs. So it goes for Stan Perkins of Australia, who finished his two terms this month at Malaga. I recently learned Stan had been appointed chair of the WMA Marketing and Communications Committee. So I shot him and his committee some Qs, seeking details on the gig. Stan, bless him, was first (and only so far) to respond. But he didn’t offer much info. In fact, he took me to task for asking stupid questions. (Sorry, but that’s my specialty.) “I will not provide any additional information at this time…


Russia should be reinstated to IAAF/Olympic family — and right a masters wrong

Even though my long-hurdles hero Edwin Moses is going ballistic, I’m happy to hear that the World Anti-Doping Agency is poised to reinstate Russia — let its athletes compete internationally. On Thursday, WADA may accept the recommendation of its compliance review committee. The panel says Russia could soon meet two demands — admit it cheated and give WADA access to its drug-testing lab. “Russia’s anti-doping agency has been suspended since 2015 after a WADA commissioned report revealed alleged widespread doping in the country, although Russia has repeatedly denied state involvement,” Reuters noted. “WADA President Craig Reedie said in March that…


Will Malaga become WMA’s ‘Nazi Olympics’? Gibraltar M40 runner protests flag ban

Liam Byrne took fourth in Heat 5 of the M40 800 prelims Sunday at Malaga, but he quickly became the focus of world media when he displayed his flag after the race. The flag of Gibraltar. In the results, he’s listed as representing “WMA.” Media reports say he was forced to run as a “neutral” athlete. His time of 2:03.49 (see results here) means he’ll likely have a hard time making the final. (Top qualifier was 1:58.08 by Kenya’s Isaac Kiberenge.) But he’s apparently the only Gibraltar athlete (of five originally entered) still competing in Malaga. Would love to see…


Malaga results mum on world records while Kenyan runners submit insane seed marks

Malaga’s results service is impressive. It’s easy to navigate and lists most everything. But why no references to world records? W80 British thrower Evaun Williams put the shot 10.07 meters (33-0 1/2) on her first try Tuesday to smash the listed WR of 9.66 (31-8 1/2) by Germany’s Anne Chatrine Rühlow in 2017, for example. (The main WMA site has a running account of Malaga WRs. The others are W75 shot by Austria’s Marianne Maier (12.12/39-9 1/4), displacing an Evaun mark, and M70 5000 walk by Britain’s Ian Richards in 25:51.34.) An event I’m looking forward to is the M35…


Free the Gibraltar Five! Malaga LOC says they can’t wear colors or fly their flag

Don’t tell David Pain about this. He’ll flash on his time fighting to get South Africans into 1975 Toronto worlds. This time, at least, a host country isn’t excluding a national contingent. Gibraltar has one of the smallest teams at Malaga worlds, but its treatment is making the biggest stink. The British territory’s M40 Liam Byrne (400/800), M40 Charles Savignon (10K/half-marathon), W45 Allison Edwards (10K/half-marathon), M45 Maurice Turnock (5000) and M65 Horace Bossano (10K) may not be medal favorites. But they have become pawns in some crazy Spanish politics. Media outlets, IAAF bigwig Seb Coe and others are calling out…


Wonder of wonders: WMA wallops Malaga LOC for not having Wi-Fi at stadiums

Until Tuesday, you could count on World Masters Athletics to sing its own version of “Home on the Range” — where never is heard a discouraging word. Now, for the first time, our governing body is showing fangs. With the blessing of lame-duck Prez Stan Perkins, the WMA homepage is criticizing the host of a world meet before it even starts. WMA roared: “It has now been confirmed that there will be no wi-fi coverage available for the athletes, officials or anyone else attending the various athletics stadiums and venues in the upcoming WMA Track and Field Athletics Championships in…


Usatfmasters.org — our official portal — being redesigned with WordPress modernity

Jeff Brower, our USATF masters webmaster and records czar, is working hard behind the scenes to freshen up our official website. It hasn’t been publicly unveiled (until now), but its WordPress theme (aka design) is adapted by masters media maestro (aka MMM) Sandy Lee Triolo “in collaboration with Jovette Jolicoeur,” says the site, which can be seen here. The old design — full of ancient HTML affectations and overly busy graphically — doesn’t do justice to our hip vibe. WordPress also allows Jeff (and anyone else with the password) to easily update a page. The old site required coding chops….


W60 gender scientist Joanna Harper leaves Fox News doofus in rhetorical dust

W60 distancer Joanna Harper ran rings around two Fox News hosts Monday, leaving Tucker Carlson and Mark Steyn stumped in separate segments. Instead of playing the role of punching bag, Joanna (a transgender athlete and IOC consultant on gender issues) defeated her male interrogators with some masters jiu jitsu. She disarmed them by taking their sides and proving herself reasonable and rational. Outsports headlined the exchange: “Trans athlete leaves Tucker Carlson speechless, sets Fox News record.” I detailed Joanna’s story in 2010 and again in 2015. The post three years ago was occasioned by an amazing piece Joanna wrote for…


USATF CEO picking site of 2021 open nationals (aka IAAF world trials)?

Every year, our USATF Masters Committee votes at the annual meeting to award indoor and outdoor nationals several years in the future. Sometimes only one city bids, so it’s a slam dunk. But not once has a USATF masters chair gone around the committee and delegates and awarded the meet on his own say-so. So what do we make of the latest news — which I reported on Times of San Diego — that USATF CEO Max Siegel summarily handed 2021 open nationals (and IAAF Eugene world trials) to Mt. SAC? According to a memo I quote, Max claims USATF…