Malaga worlds

How the fastest American M65 in Malaga fell through the 4×100 relay cracks

At 67, Michael Kish of Nutley, New Jersey, is a relative newbie to masters track. He took up the sport at 59, taking advice to check out the New Jersey Senior Olympics. So when he deciubded to enter Malaga in the 100 and 200, he naturally wondered about running a relay. In late July, Michael wrote USA Team Manager Phil Greenwald, who graciously replied, discussing the difficulty of saying whether he would be on a foursome. Phil concluded his 400-word note: “My advice is always to plan your trip around your individual events; if you are available for the relays…


National Masters Chair Rex Harvey: Medals were goal of Malaga relay selections

It goes without saying that the goal of USATF masters is winning as many medals at possible at worlds. But was a decision to move Charlie Allie down from the M70 4×100 to the M65 team in Malaga the most efficient course? I’ll let others debate that. For now, I’ll pass along the first response I’ve gotten from USATF National Masters Chair Rex Harvey since posting the Roger Pierce complaint nearly a week ago. Rex graciously writes: Please make it known to your readers that, while he does more work than any of the rest of us, volunteer Phil Greenwald…


Special Report: Were rules broken for sake of Yanks’ record shot in Malaga 4×100?

I love records and record attempts. But should a chance at a WR trump rules at worlds? That’s a question being raised after Charles Allie dropped down from M70 to M65 at Malaga, causing a domino effect of anger and disappointment that reached into the M80 age group. On Friday, M70 sprinter Roger Pierce contacted me via Facebook to describe what he considered a debacle involving the 4×100 relays. Later I spoke with him on the phone, as well as Charlie. I also wrote George Haywood, another M65 relay member and teammate of Charlie’s. Phil Greenwald, longtime U.S. masters team…


Were steeple barriers at Malaga safe to step on? Canadian M75 racer ended up bloodied

American M75 middle-distancer Ev “Doc” Murdock was eighth in the 2K steeple at Malaga, but he sent me photos of the fifth-placer — Vern Christensen of Canada. Vern is shown at the finish holding his bloody forehead. Ouch! What happened? Doc explains: Has anyone mentioned to you that the steeplechase barriers were not coated with the usual nonslip surface? Instead, they were painted with high-gloss paint. As a result, they were amazingly slippery as soon as they got wet. Those of us who normally step on the barriers as part of our technique for jumping over them slipped. Several of…


USATF Athlete of the Week Sonja Friend-Uhl tells why she skipped shot at Malaga gold

On the final day of Malaga worlds, Courtney Babcock of Canada won the W45 1500 in 4:47.88. That’s the No. 3 time in the world this season, according to mastersrankings.com. No. 1 is the 4:39.15 by American Sonja Friend-Uhl last March. So where was Sonja? At home in Florida, getting ready two weeks later for the Navy Mile on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Her road mile mark of 5:06.33 beat the old course record by more than 10 seconds, and Friday she was named USATF Athlete of the Week. “She finished 11th in the elite women’s race as she added…


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…


Banned Nazi version of German national anthem played 2 days at Malaga medal ceremonies

In Germany, singing “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles” (Germany, Germany above everything) is a Bozo No-No. Although the lyric was written in 1841 by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben — and had nothing to do with the Nazis — it was adopted by Hitler and sung at the opening of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Since 1952, the German national anthem has dropped the “Deutschland über alles” stanza. But WTF. Guess what was played for two days at Malaga medal ceremonies? Yup — the “banned” version. According to the German masters website Lampis.net, the nonkosher version (with the correct 1797 melody by…


WMA posts results of pre-Malaga survey: Y’all like sprints most. Biggest group? 50-54

In mid-May, I surveyed y’all about surveys — specifically: “Should WMA regularly post them?” About 91 percent said sure. Now we’re seeing the survey (May 15 to August 5) that prompted the question. WMA has posted results of a 25-query athlete poll. It’s in the form of a slide show, so look for the little arrows at lower left, just underneath the survey. Click them to change pages. The sample size isn’t great — about 560. (Perhaps this should have waited until Malaga, with 8,200 entries. But I guess that isn’t representative of average masters.) The gender breakdown was 68…


Relaygate at Malaga worlds: Will Yanks move up from silver to gold in W55 4×400?

Angela Sonn was a prolific W55 sprinter this season in Great Britain. She recorded nearly five dozen races between 60 and 400 meters. But I doubt she ran the W55 4×400 relay at 5:05 p.m. Sept. 16 at Malaga worlds and the W45 4×4 about 50 minutes later. Yet that’s what results show. In fact, she ran only once — dropping down to anchor the W45 relay, which took sixth behind Team USA’s fifth. So how does her name appear in the W55 results, which shows her team winning gold? I wrote WMA officials (crickets) and British meet manager Maurice…


Charles Allie named USATF Athlete of the Week for Malaga magnificence, WR in 400

M70 Charles Allie, named USATF Athlete of the Week on Wednesday, is well-positioned to win his second WMA Athlete of the Year honor. (He also won five years ago.) One Speed’s world record 57.26 in the 400 in the Malaga prelims qualifies him. If he becomes the North and Central America and Caribbean nominee, Charlie has a chance to match Bob Lida (WMA AOY for 2017 and 2012). All-time sprint and hurdles great Guido Mueller of Germany won male WMA honors in 2004, 2009 and 2014. (Detect a pattern?) So USATF did the right thing by recognizing Charles for AOW…