Athletes Brazil-bound for World Masters Championships

Rosemary Chrimes, Evaun Williams and Steve Peters among Brits heading to Porto Alegre from October 16-27

Rosemary Chrimes (Jeremy Hemming)

Nearly 4000 athletes from 83 countries will head to Porto Alegre, Brazil, to compete in the first edition of the World Masters Championships to take place in South America from October 16-27.

The events are held at four venues all within 12km of each other and the meeting covers the whole spectrum of track and field, marathon, cross country and road walks.

Brazil (with 578 registered athletes), Argentina (550), Chile (314), United States (240) and Colombia (173) head the participants by number of athletes with Great Britain & Northern Ireland having 134.

The locals and British athletes will take on the powerful German and American teams that usually dominate the medal table. There are some former Olympians competing, with the oldest being Brazil’s Wanda dos Santos Sakata who competed in the 80m hurdles at the 1952 and 1956 Games and is now a W80.

Heading the UK entries will be the long-serving pair of Rosemary Chrimes and Evaun Williams, who have already set world records in their respective W80 and W75 classes this year.

Chrimes will tackle five events while Williams goes for the five throws and then the same events in the throws pentathlon. Between them, these two should collect about 10 gold medals.

Britain’s other recent world record-breaker, Angela Copson, misses the event having just completed the Berlin Marathon in 3:19:05.

One of the most prolific medallists over the past 20 years in world championships has been Steve Peters, who made a return to competitive action in the British veterans championships. He is entered for the three sprints, two relays and the two hurdles events in the M60 category. More medals can be expected.

Averil McClelland will be after W55 sprint medals, while Caroline Powell goes in the W60 class and Kermitt Bentham the M50 400m.

Former W35 world 800m and current double European champion Nina Anderson is hoping for W40 golds, this time in events from 200m to 800m. Laura Mahady, the 2009 W50 800m champion, will be seeking W55 golds, while new W55 Jill Harrison makes her first appearance in these championships after an international career that dates back to 1977 and is entered for four events from 1500m to half- marathon.

The men’s middle-distance races have David Oxland, the current M60 5000m champion, who was a late addition to the team and is entered for five events.

Over the hurdles world indoor champion Joe Appiah should figure. Tony Wells has been winning world and European hurdles medals for 25 years and graduates to the M65s a few days before the championships.

Britain usually comes away with a clutch of walking medals and former British international Ian Richards should not disappoint in the M60 age group. Ed Shillabeer goes in the M70s.

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