The first race of the Championship was a good start with Margret Goettnauer, GER, leading all runners in the W70+ 3000m with a time of 13:11.95, a little over 40 seconds off the W70 world record set early this year. Margret might not have surpassed a world record but Sumiko Yamakawa Imoto, W85, BRA, discus, Carl-erik Särndal, M85, SWE, high jump and WMA Male Athlete of the Decade, Arild Busterud, M75, NOR, weight throw, did. 2005 WMA Female Best Athlete, Rietje Dijkman, W80, NED, and 2022 WMA Male Best Athlete, high jump, and David Carr, M90, AUS, 3000m earned gold to lead a day filled with solid performances.

There were close contests in 3000m races. Eoin Everard, IRL, edged Mark Husted, USA, by less than a second with his 8:49.01 in the M35 contest. Grzegorz Kujawski, POL, and Manuel Carlos Outón Besada, ESP, were within a second of each other to earn M45 gold and silver. M50 Anthony O’Brien, GBR, ran 8:52.75 to capture gold ahead of Julio Bardavio Atienza’s, ESP, 8:53.18 for silver.

Wet circles and runways didn’t cool down discus and javelin competitions. Timo Tikka, FIN, threw 52.16 on his last throw to take the lead in M55 javelin. Tommi Huotilainen, FIN, countered with 52.74 to retake the top position. Silke Stolt, GER,competing in her eightenth WMA Championship, took the early lead in W55 discus with 33.82 in the second round. Svitlana Sorochuk, UKR, threw 34.49 in the fourth round to become World Champion. Janina Lapieniene, LTU, breifly took the lead in W60 discus by throwing 33.38 in the second round. Jorunn Hole, NOR, responded with 33.69 in the second then 33.78 om the fifth.

Three high jump competitions were decided on misses. Anna Plonka, POL, bested Valentyna Khomitska, UKR, in W40, Edel Maguire, IRL, topped Theressa Schmelzer, RSA, in W60 and Lluisa Casanovas-Gaset, ESP, over Eliane Piret, FRA, in W70. Antonio Palacios, USA, jumped 5.93m to nip Boguslaw Zelechowski, POL, in the M55 long jump by 7cm. The M65 contest was even closer with Wieslaw Musial, POL, jumping 5cm farther than countryman, Marek Grzyb.

Former Olympians did well. Michelle Rohl, W55, USA, who competed in 1992, 1996, and 2000, won the W55 3000m by running 10:27.11. James Beckford, JAM, (Atlanta 1996; Sydney 2000; Athens 2004) is World Champion in M45 long jump (he was WMACi2019 M40 champion). 2004 Olympian, Nadine Kant, W45, GER, placed third in the shot put. London 2012 participant, Rachid Chouhal, MLT, tied Fernando Senso Castilla, ESP, for the third best long jump in M45 but Frenando earned a bronze medal by having the a better second jump than Rachid.

A big congratulations to Robert Cahners, M80, USA, gold in weight throw and Heimo Viertbauer, M75, AUT, bronze in weight throw for competing in their 16th Championship and Carol Finsrud, W65, USA, and Inge Faldager, W75, DEN, who are competing in their 15th Championship and won gold and bronze respectively in the discus throw. Carol won the W60 discus at WMACi2019. Congratulations to Anna Widawska, W35, POL, and Alison Wood, W45, USA, (current world record holder) for repeating as WMACi Champion in their respective high jump age group – a great accomplishment.

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