The city of Toruń once again organized and ran a fantastic championship! Thank you so much to the city of Toruń, organizers, officials and volunteers. Your facilities, professionalism, kindness and, of course, gingerbread, was much appreciated. It is especially impressive considering the short preparation timeframe. Masters Athletes can look forward to another competition in Toruń soon – the countdown for EMACi2024 has started! Thank you too for your idea of adding the mixed 4 x 200m relay to these Championships. The event was contested in five-year age groups with two female and two male runners on each team. It appears that it was popular as seventy-nine teams from twenty-five nations participated.
Congratulations to the host country! This is the first time Poland led top medal honors earning 83 golds, nine ahead of second place, Germany. Kirsti Viitanen, W80, FIN, won pole vault, triple jump, shot put, weight throw, hammer throw, discus throw and javelin throw to take home the most individual medals from this Championship with seven. The oldest athlete competing at this Championship, Lauri Helle, M95, FIN, was not far behind with five golds by winning shot put, weight throw, discus throw, hammer throw and javelin throw. Gloria Krug, W90, USA, six gold, and Sumiko Yamakawa Imoto, W85, BRA, five gold, who also set two world records at this Championship, round out the athletes who earned five or more gold medals. The only other athlete with six individual medals was Gabriele Rost-brasholz, W75, GER, who earned silver in 400m and half marathon plus bronze in 800m, 3000m, 10km and 6km cross country
Twenty-five world records were set at WMACi2023 counting the three set today. Sue Mcdonald, USA, lowered the W60 1500m record to 5:08.88. WMACi2019 60m hurdles champion, Jane Horder, GBR, ran 10.00to set the W65 record. Olle Borg, SWE, set the M75 triple jump record with his 9.79m winning leap.
Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympian, Joachim Nshimirimana, ITA, won M50 half marathon in 1:10:09. Michelle Rohl, USA, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympian, won W55 1500m in 4:53.07. 2009 WMA Best Female Athlete, Rita Hanscom, USA, earned gold in W65 pole vault with her 2.20m clearance. 2022 WMA Best Athlete, David Carr, AUS, is 2023 World Champion again by capturing the M90 1500m.
Magdalena Hristova, BUL, 8.96, Jennifer Gartmann, GER, 9.00 and Rachel Guest, USA, 9.15, made the podium in W45 after the closest 60m hurdles race of the day. Barbara Capellini, ITA, cleared all heights on her first attempt and Stacey Gonzalez Betancourt, GBR, only had one miss up to 3.10m for an exciting contest in W45 pole vault. Hans Smeets, NED, passed Gary Patton, USA, before the last curve which led to a sprint for the finish where Hans edged Gary 5:44.20 to 5:44.71.
Ingrid Meier, GER, outsprinted Caroline Marler, GBR, to lead Team Germany past Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the W70 4x200m relay, 2:34.19 to 2:34.35. Marion Ertl, Renate Richter, and Ingeborg Thoma ran for Germany with Lyn Ahmet Emily Mcmahon and Anne Nelson sprinting for Team GBR. The M65 4x200m relay was even closer with Team Poland, Krzysztof Zduniak, Stanislaw Klosowicz, Wieslaw Musial, and Waldemar Orlowski, running closly with Team Germany, Andreas Weise, Detlef Döpping, Ulrich Dirking, and Gerhard Zorn, for the entire race. Team Poland edged Team Germany 1:49.61 to 1:49.73.
It is apropos that the last race and event of the Championship was won by the host country’s 35+ mixed 4x200m relay team of Radoslaw Czyz, M35, Weronika Ilczuk, W35, Aneta Grot, W40, and Szymon Ogonowski, M35, who ran the fastest 4 x 200m mixed relay in 1:36.99. The youngest athlete, Lucie Membrado, W35, FRA, WMA Executive Vice President, Lynne Schickert, W80, AUS, WMA Women’s Committee Chair, Wilma Perkins, W70, AUS, 1996 and 2000 Olympian, Mattias Sunneborn, M50, SWE, and 2013 and 2018 WMA Best Male Athlete, Charles Allie, M75, USA, also competed in the mixed relay.