Lenore Lambert (AUS) leads Lee-Anne Nelson (AUS) W45 100m

The North Queensland city of Mackay turned on the heat to welcome over 450 athletes for the 20th Oceania Masters Athletics Championships (meet results) from 31 August to 7 September 2019. The most common comment from athletes was they had come to Mackay to escape cold winter temperatures.

No-one left disappointed as we bathed in glorious sunshine every day and this was conducive to great performances on the brand-new track. Everyone had a spring in their step! The first day was a little disconcerting though as we were greeted with a plume of smoke from a nearby factory – we learnt quickly that this was one of many sugar refineries in the area and were we inhaling our carbs!

Heather Carr, AUS W70, competes in Race Walk

Heather Carr led the Australian charge through the record books with a world record (pending ratification) in the W70 3000m race walk on the penultimate day of competition. Her time of 18:01.06 bettered the mark of 18:05.0 set by Britta Tibbling of Sweden in 1989.

Oceania Championships Records Tumble

* Guest Athlete

Vicki Townsend (AUS) W55 clears the bar!

Australia Leads Medal Count

Australians dominated their events winning 867 of the 1,202 medals awarded and it was no surprise to see a number of athletes winning multiple medals. The combined events athletes, in particular, lead the way and stand-out performer was Vicki Townsend (AUS) who won the W55 Heptathlon, Pentathlon, 60m, 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump and Shot Put. To round out the week, Vicki collected silver in the Discus and Throws Pentathlon. Dash Newington (GBR) W35 earned the most medals by winning gold (8) in 2000 Steeplechase, 10000 Racewalk, 3000 Racewalk, 5000 Racewalk, Triple Jump, High Jump, Pole Vault and Hammer; silver (4) in Discus, Weight Throw, Throws Pentathlon, Heptathlon and bronze (2) in 100m Hurdles and 400m Hurdles. Helena Dinnissen (NZL) W30 competed in 60m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 100m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Triple Jump and High Jump and won each! Her nine gold medals earned was second only to Vicki.

Dash Newington (GBR) W35 ready to vault.

Eight Gold Medals:

  • Jim Blair (NZL) M85 in Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, Hammer, Weight Throw and Throws Pentathlon
  • Carol Davis (AUS) W65 in 60m, 100m, 200m, 400m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Javelin and Pentathlon.
  • Lenore Lambert (AUS) W45 in 60m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 80m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, and High Jump in a Personal Best of 1.58m.
  • Allan Wood (AUS) M80 in 60m, 100m, 200m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Javelin and Pentathlon

Eleven Medals:

  • Steven Cragg (AUS) M30 won gold (7) in 60m, 100m, 400m Hurdles, Triple Jump, High Jump, Shot Put and Javelin; silver (4) in Discus, Hammer, Weight Throw and Decathlon.
  • Suzanne Coate (AUS) W55 won gold (7) in 80m Hurdles, 300m Hurdles, Long Jump, High Jump, Javelin and Pentathlon; silver (3) in 100m, 200m and Shot Put; bronze in Discus.
  • June Lowe (AUS) W65 won gold (6) in High Jump, Shot Put, Discus, Hammer, Weight Throw and Throws Pentathlon; silver (3) in 80m Hurdles, Long Jump and Javelin; bronze (2) in 60m and 100m.
Another Gold for Helena Dinnissen (NZL) W30.

The Stories

It’s always exciting to see close rivalries develop and the W35 sprinters didn’t disappoint with Jess Dux (AUS) taking the 60m win in 8.29s from New Zealand’s Ugen Iyer 8.36s. Ugen turned the tables in the 100m with 12.92s to Jess 12.94s and in the 200m it was even closer, Ugen 26.76s, Jess 26.77s.

Local Mackay athlete, Kevin Galea (M50) re-started athletics three years ago when his son started competing at school and now the drive to beat personal bests is a family past-time. Kevin medalled in five of his six events, including gold in the Javelin and Discus. He said, “Nothing beats the feeling of a perfect javelin throw”.

Jim Sinclair, (AUS) M95, was the oldest competitor at the championships.

Additional Information

The Oceania Masters Championships were held at the newly opened sports facility, the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex with 438 athletes registered from 18 countries – 13 Oceanic Federations – Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Fiji, Norfolk Island, French Polynesia (Tahiti), Northern Marianas Islands, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Tonga along with visitors from Great Britain, United States of America, India, Mongolia and Czech Republic.

Photos by Graeme Dahl. Thank you Graeme and all the other photographers who support our sport.

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