Torun worlds

Spring fling of Ireland’s Anne Gilshinan: from W50 Torun silver to W55 WR in 1500-meter run

In 1974, Anne McKenzie of South Africa ran 4:49.2 for 1500 meters at age 49. It was a W45 outdoor world record, which would stand 11 years. Now it looks like 55 is the new 45. On Saturday, 55-year-old Anne Gilshinan scorched a metric mile in 4:45.65 at an Irish Milers meet in the seaside resort town of Greystones, Ireland. The record she beat was only two weeks old — 4:48.65 by world champ Clare Elms in Tonbridge, Britain. As a 54-year-old, Anne took silver in the W50 1500 at Torun worlds, losing by only three-hundredths of a second (to…


World champ British hurdler calls Toruń worlds ‘without doubt the best ever,’ posts long review

Great Britain’s Donald Brown won the M55 hurdles at Toruń worlds, so he took away some good feelings about the 8th WMA indoor world meet. But he went the extra mile by doing a careful critique off the late-March event. Don posted initial comments on Facebook (below) and then composed a formal review called The Masters’ Voice. (He also came up with a nifty acronym — masters standing for “Making A Statement That Ensures Residual Success.”) Unlike 2018 Malaga worlds, where athletes complained about steeple barriers and relay selection, Poland produced little griping (as far as I know.) In any…


Irene Obera wins her 3rd USATF Athlete of Week award, but (many) outdoor WRs await

For at least the third time since 2014, Hall of Famer Irene Obera has been named USATF Athlete of the Week. The latest honor was announced Wednesday. This removes the egregious stain on her rep at Torun worlds, when she was the lone entrant in the W85 high jump, passed at .80 meters (2-7 1/2) and then had three misses at .83 (2-8 3/4). NM by her name. No gold. But I guess I’ll have to forgive her, since she set three world records in Poland. Indy’s fine summary: “Obera, 85, set world records in the women’s 85 division of…


At least 9 Americans take home $1,000 in USATF prize money from Torun worlds

Despite the USATF misreading of the Torun medals table (Yanks were fourth, not second in overall medals at worlds), it appears Team USA was ounce-for-ounce the best squad in Poland. “The main goal was to win the most overall medals which, this time, proved to be quite impossible with the home team Poland, and the next door country Germany having over four and nearly three times as many athletes entered as we,” said national masters chair Rex Harvey. “However, Team USATF-Masters did win more gold medals than anyone but Germany in the most successful WMA Indoor Championship ever. We couldn’t…


Earl ‘The Great’ Fee steals thunder from Torun worlds with M90 WRs at 400, 800 in Iowa

We interrupt Torun coverage (elsewhere) to bring you this important announcement: Earl Fee is back! In the record books. A day after turning 90, The Great One set two M90 indoor world records at a meet in Grinnell, Iowa. Five years ago, the Canadian legend set an M85 indoor 800 WR at Budapest worlds. So this was no surprise. But why isn’t he in Poland? He says he missed the entry deadline. At a USATF Iowa meet over the weekend, he burned a 400 in 1:30.76, obliterating the listed WR of M 90 1:46.78 by barrel-chested Ugo Sansonetti of Italy…


61 USATF entrants will split $33,000 in Toruń world meet travel and lodging grants

Rex Harvey just capped his career. Even with his elite and masters record decathlon records, our national masters chair can point to a milestone in the masters movement — at least in the United States. More than 60 Americans will get financial help to compete at Toruń indoor worlds, and likely will earn prize money as well. This is the geezertrack equivalent of Nicolaus Copernicus (touted by Toruń as their most famous son). Here’s the announcement Wednesday from Sandy Triolo, USATF MTF Communications chair: 84 USATF Masters Athletes applied for the W#1 Torun Program! 61 are currently eligible and one…


Look for Irene Obera, Bill Jankovich to redefine age-85 abilities at Winston-Salem nationals

I’m not in Winston-Salem this weekend for indoor nationals, but I’m eager to see results, especially from newbie W85 (and Hall of Famer) Irene Obera (entered in 60, 200, 400, 800, high jump, long jump, shot put and triple jump) and M85 Bill Jankovich (60, 60 hurdles, 200, 400, high jump, pentathlon, long jump, pole vault, shot put and triple jump). Bill set a monster AR in the indoor hep a month ago. Who hazards a guess at Irene’s record-setting at JDL Fast Track? Also notable: Jim Barrineau, the Olympic high jumper, is venturing WAY outside his comfort zone. My…


History’s oldest trackster entered at Toruń worlds: Stanislaw Kowalski is almost 109

Entry deadline for Toruń indoor worlds closed this week, and I’m excited to see Poland’s Stanislaw Kowalski, born in April 1910, down for the 60, shot and discus. At almost 109, he’s likely the oldest competitive athlete in history — even older than Japan’s Hidekichi Miyazaki, aka “Golden Bolt,” who often was credited as being the fastest M105 sprinter. Sadly, Hidekichi died last week at age 108. (I wrote about Miyazaki Mania in 2015.) WMA now lists outdoor world records for M105 (by Stan and Hidekichi), so anything Stan does at Torun will qualify as an indoor M105 world record….


USATF racing clock to inform world-classers of potential $2,000 Toruń travel grants, prize money

It’s only taken 50 years, but USA masters athletes are finally getting serious financial help from their governing body. As told in my deep-dive story for Times of San Diego, more than 300 eligible Americans as old as 103 can claim up to $1,000 for travel to Toruń worlds this March, and they can bring home up to an additional $1,000 for medals — $400 for gold, $200 for silver and $100 for bronze. Relay team members, too. The overall budget is $125,000, including $25,000 pledged by a mystery donor. I contacted masters national chair Rex Harvey and a dozen…


Tale of 2 Kenyans: One claims bogus mark, another could be WR-setter at Torun indoor worlds

In 2012, Anselm LeBourne again broke the 2-minute barrier when he ran a still-listed M50 indoor world record for 800 meters at the Boston Terrier Classic. The listed M50 outdoor WR is 1:58.65 by Nolan Shaheed in 2000. So when my California friend Matt B saw the entry list at Torun 2019 indoor worlds, he was incredulous. Kenya’s Robert Langat claims a time of 1:56.80 in the M50 800. Robert is listed in IAAF — as a 30-year-old distance runner (with a 2014 marathon PR of 2:13:49). But he doesn’t show up in mastersrankings.com. The M50 Langat also gave a…