Championships heat up in 10,000m
Journalists: Laura Meachim and Kaylee Meerton
Runners in the 10,000m suffered yesterday as the heat on course topped the mid-30s, taking it’s toll on competitors and times.
More than 13 countries were represented in the M75-94 event with crowd favourite Irwin Barrett-Lennard competing for his second medal at the World Masters Athletics Championship.
The 87-year-old local record holder lapped a number of younger competitors, but was unable to beat Frenchman Christian Larcher for gold.
Irwin said the heat didn’t worry him but he did have to stop and walk a few times to get his breath back.
“Yes, its something I do sometimes if I have a little walk, 30 steps, then I’m fresh again – it’s a bit of a signature thing for me,” he said.
The event’s oldest competitor Zhiyong Wang finished impressively in just 1:31.27, the 92 year old from China never giving up despite the tough conditions.
But it was Frenchman Jean-Louis Esnault who dominated the track, taking home the gold medal for the M75, closely followed by Peter Lessing, claiming silver for Germany.
Battling Aussie Peter Sandery rounded out the top three, despite thinking he’d finished with a lap to go.
Earlier in the day America’s Kathryn Martin took a stoic gold medal after a hard fought victory in the W65 .
With temperatures rising, Martin defended her previous title but was unable to beat her own world record at Ern Clark Athletic Centre.
Dripping with water after the race Martin was disappointed in her time but said the heat made conditions tough.
“It was hot I don’t normally pour that much water over my head,” Martin, who claimed gold and a world record in the 5000m, said.
“The middle miles were tough but it was great it was a really competitive event.”
Martin, who only started running in her 30s said the sportsmanship of the World Masters was what motivated her to compete.
“We’re the role models for the young people and they just have to see it is fitness for life,” Martin said.
While she faded towards the middle she was unbeatable in the final laps, followed almost four minutes later by Spain’s Emi Vaquero Sanchez and New Zealand’s Judith Stewart.
But it was Australia’s Lavinia Petrie who followed Martin across the finish line, winning gold in the W70 division.
Petrie said it was a good run but felt her time was not particularly good.
“You just run to win in championships,” she said.
While the conditions were hard the Melbournian said the heat is just part of the competition.
“You put the pressure on yourself when you race and it’s how you adapt to the conditions, everyone has the same conditions,” Petrie said.
Petrie will be defending the five titles she won in Lyon last year and with already three under her belt for 2016 she will be going for gold in the 1500m and the Half Marathon on Sunday, which she currently holds the world record for.
The heat took did take its toll on some competitors – Spaniard Manuel Fernandez Ledo unable to finish and needing medical attention from nearby paramedics.
The close battle between Mexican Rosario Reyes Ruiz and Livio Guzman from Peru, had the crowd on their feet during the M80 race.
Meanwhile at the WA Athletics Stadium Maurice Dauphinet narrowly missed out on his 5th gold medal for the championships, coming away with a silver in the shot put.
India’s Suparhanam Pakerla threw 6.8m in a hard fought victory to steal the gold. Maurice was hoping to add to his golds in the hammer throw, javelin, long jump and discus.
And in the M70 pole vault, competitors continued to raise the bar with German Gerhard Lickfett, the oldest competitor, clearing his first attempt with ease.
The 79 year old said the Perth World Masters had been an incredible experience.
“Wonderful, the country is wonderful, the sport area is wonderful and now I hope you are praying for me that I can jump 240,” he said.
Irwin Barrett-Lennard ploughs on despite the heat to get silver in the M85 10,000m race. Picture: Carly Laden
Christian Larcher overcame the heat to stride to gold and become world champion in the M85 10,000m. Picture: Carly Laden
Rosario Reyes Ruiz of Mexico chases crowd favourite Livio Guzman in the M80 10,000m. Picture: Carly Laden