By Major Serge Faucher, RCAF athlete –
Over 4000 athletes from 82 countries converged to the city of Toruń, Poland for the 2019 World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships (24-30 March). While Canada had a small contingent of 54 athletes, we did very well. Canada finished 16th overall in the medal count with seven golds, nine silver, and five bronze, including several provincial, national, and even a few world records by some immensely talented athletes.
While I had my best six months of training preparation in over 10 years of racing in track & field, I arrived in Poland still feeling sick after contracting the flu a few weeks prior. This unfortunately derailed my training and health, affecting my first race (400m) where I felt sluggish and flat. I managed to run it in a relatively slow 57.33 sec, which did not allow me to advance to the semi-finals.
My next event was done at an equally pedestrian pace with my slowest 60m to date (8.12 sec). Again, not advancing to the next round. Following this, and with a few more days of rest, I managed a decent 200m time of 25.55 sec in the qualification round. This was fast enough to accede to the semis the next day where I ran a 25.63 sec, good for 13th place overall.
On the last day of competition, I “stepped down” to help the M45 (45-49) relay team in the 4 X 200m. We ended up finishing in 6th place out of 11 countries with a time of 1:41.81 min.
Despite feeling under the weather for this track meet, it was a wonderful experience, and it renewed my drive to work harder for the next age group (M55) prior to the outdoor season where I will be the “youngest athlete” once again when I turn 55 in June!
As for other athletes, Karla Del Grande (W65) represented Canada at the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, and won gold in the 200m and 400m sprints. Her world record times were 29.73s and 1:08.39.
The CMA would also like to mention Carol LaFayette-Boyd and Christa Bortignon. Carol set a new W75 World Record of 32.26s in the 200m at the Butterdome in Edmonton. Christa tied her own W80 World Record in the long jump at the WMA Indoor Championships in Torun.
Photos submitted by Maj Faucher
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