WMA

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…


7 Americans, led by M70 sprint sensation Charles Allie, among nominees for WMA annual awards

As expected, Charles Allie is being considered for World Masters Athletics Athlete of the Year — both in the overall and sprint-group categories, WMA has announced. His M70 records at Malaga and elsewhere should make him a shoo-in for the top male prize. No American women are up for the overall Athlete of Year honors, but three Yanks have good shots at event awards — W60 middle-distancer Lesley Hinz, W65 distance great Sabra Harvey and W60 throws legend Carol Finsrud. Besides Charlie, American men in the finals for event awards are M50 middle-distancer Charles Novak, M75 thrower George Mathews and…


WMA president gives Russians hope of competing in international masters meets in 2019

Russians wanting to compete in international masters meets may have reason to celebrate. On Christmas Day, WMA Prez Margit Jungmann wrote me: “I had the occasion to discuss the Russian case with IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe in Monaco the day after the council decision [regarding the Russian ban being lifted] and to explain the difficulties for masters to get approval as neutral athlete. IAAF and WMA are looking together to find a solution that allows masters to become the approval of neutral athlete. This is a difficult process, but for the moment I am hopeful to find a solution….


USATF could end masters club scoring (titles at indoor, outdoor nationals) under rule proposal

Last January, the WMA Competition Committee issued the world body’s “Rules of Competition 2018-2020.” Buried within, under Scoring, is Rule 151.1: “There shall be no overall Team Championships.” That appears to mean that WMA meets won’t score national teams for the purpose of identifying the top teams. OK fine. But since USATF likes to stay in step with World Masters Athletics, a rule proposal at the Columbus annual meeting this week aims to update USATF rules to end club scoring at masters nationals. (See team results from Maryland indoor nationals and Spokane outdoor nationals.) Ruh roh. That won’t win cheers…


WMA legal costs and ‘guest/gift’ expenses skyrocket, but Prez Margit won’t say why

What is World Masters Athletics trying to hide? Six days ago, I stumbled on the final report to the Malaga General Assembly — where Germany’s Margit Jungmann was elected the first female president of WMA. Buried was a financial summary of recent years. Two line items jumped out at me: skyrocketing legal expenses and costs of “guests/gifts.” So on Nov. 17, I sent this query letter to Margit and her predecessor, Stan Perkins of Australia (with CC to WMA Treasurer Jean Thomas of France): Greetings, Margit and Stan Hope you are well. I notice on page 35 of the 2018…


Was it a good idea for WMA to spin off marathon champs from world outdoor meet?

Close to 4,500 ran in Sunday’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, with many (if not most) over 35. It was designated the World Masters Athletics Marathon Championships — the first time a 26-miler was held outside the WMA world outdoor track meet since 1975. So how many folks competed for WMA medals? Would you believe 35? Yup. Forty-three years after the first WAVA gold medals were awarded in the marathon — at Toronto worlds — runners couldn’t care less about a “world title” at Scotiabank. One reason: You had to pay an extra $110 to enter the WMA event, run concurrently…


Nominate masters for USATF awards by Friday — if link comes back from dead

The USATF Masters Awards panel, chaired by W40 Malaga worlds hep champion Rachel Guest, is doing a good thing — using our official USATF masters site to invite nominations for annual awards. But not so good — you can’t nominate someone. The specified page says: “Sorry, this nomination form is not available.” That’s an easy fix (I hope). But the deadline is Friday. “After the October 5th deadline, the USATF Masters Awards Sub-Committee will review all nominations,” the announcement page says. “The committee will review all performance factors prior to voting. All awards winners will be announced at the USATF…


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…


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…


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…