Malaga worlds

Shooting stars made Malaga magical: Photos by Tom, Rob, Dave, Alex and ‘Shaggy’

Four years ago, Jim Ryun came to San Diego and I was over-the-moon. Not from seeing the mile legend (I’d interviewed him a half-dozen times since the mid-1970s). I was ecstatic to meet Rich Clarkson — a fellow KU alumnus who photographed Jim since high school and became the National Geographic’s photo editor for a while. I also have schmoozed with Pulitzer Prize winning shooter Don Bartletti, who retired a few years ago from the Los Angeles Times. So who were my heroes at Malaga? You betcha — the lensmen and woman (Alex Rotas) whose work I’ve been envying the…


Colombian W40 transgender hurdler claims bronze in 80H at Malaga worlds

W40 sprinter/hurdler Yanelle Del Mar Zape of Colombia never realized her dream of competing in the Olympics. She fell short of making the team for 2016 Rio Games. But at Malaga — after missing the 200-meter final by a few tenths — she finally medaled. She won bronze in the 80-meter hurdles Saturday in 11.81 seconds (behind America’s Rachel Guest in 11.73 and gold medalist Annette Funck of Germany in 11.37). Her achievement is remarkable for another reason. She’s transgender. Her story was told in a Colombian paper. “I did not want to make it visible, but good,” says a…


WMA picks Edmonton for 2021 indoor worlds, Gothenburg for 2022 outdoor worlds

Canada gets a double dose of major masters action starting soon — hosting the 2020 WMA world outdoor meet in Toronto and the 2021 world indoor meet in Edmonton, Alberta. It’ll be only the second indoor worlds in North America since Kamloops in 2010. See meet site here. Edmonton was chosen at Saturday’s General Assembly in Malaga. I was busy covering some guy named Obama and overlooked the news. Also revealed: 2022 outdoor worlds will be in Gothenburg, Sweden — site of the second world WAVA meet in 1977. (Since Toronto was the first worlds in 1975, the pattern would…


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…


Margit Jungmann, beating Yank and Finn, becomes first female WMA president

Margit Jungmann of Germany, a former high school teacher and coach, schooled her competition Saturday and easily won election to the presidency of World Masters Athletics, becoming the first woman in that role in the body’s 43-year history. Margit won 110 votes — ahead of American Gary Snyder’s 12 and Finland’s Vesa Lappalainen with 19. (Corrected vote from original post.) The former WMA Vice President succeeds Australia’s Stan Perkins, who must be envious (since he won his first election by one vote, albeit under fraudulent circumstances.) The German masters website says she had given up her position as chairperson of…


M55 American hurdler Kerry Sloan arrested on rape charge before Malaga worlds

M55 hurdler Kerry Sloan, a masters superstar for decades, will not compete at Malaga in the 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, high jump or be eligible for the relays. He’s in a Texas or Tulsa jail, facing charges of first-degree rape. According to media reports, Kerry was arrested at an Austin, Texas, airport Sunday by Customs and Border Protection officers, along with officers from the Austin Police Department, before he could depart on a plane to London — on the way to worlds. Here’s how local media are covering this matter: TULSA, Oklahoma — A Texas man is in jail awaiting…


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…


Nagasaki atom bomb survivor sets Malaga goal: Complete 17 events at worlds

Malaga worlds begins in a few hours, starting with the W50 hammer. Start lists are up, with results expected early Tuesday. (Malaga is six hours ahead of East Coast time, nine ahead of Left Coast.) Opening ceremonies pictures are flooding Facebook, and I’m reminded of a great breakdown of entry stats by Dmitry Babenko. His engrossing spreadsheet of the 5,503 men entered and 2,694 women is already out of date, though. Canada’s great W80 multi-eventer Christa Bortignon writes: “I had to cancel Malaga because my husband’s hip problem turned out to be very serious. After several weeks in serious pain…


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…