Steve Peters, Don Brown and Guy Bracken among the British medal hopes as we preview the men’s events at this month’s European Masters Champs in Venice
The European Masters Championships sees 430 Brits compete but the team will be hard pressed to top the medal table this time after good performances in Malaga’s World Championships last year and the World Indoor Championships in Torun.
The competition takes place at three different track venues at Jesolo, Eraclea and Caorle on the outskirts of Venice, plus separate venues for the cross-country, road races and walks from September 5-15.
The action starts at 9am on Thursday with the M35 heats and the opening ceremony is not until the evening after all the 100m and 1500m heats in Jesolo. While the field events are spread out over the championships, the track races are all on set days. A preview of the women’s events can be seen here.
Thursday Sept 5 – combined events start
Friday Sept 6 – 100m, 5000m walk
Saturday Sept 7 – 1500m, 300/400 hurdles
Sunday Sept 8 – 10,000m (M), 4km cross-country
Monday Sept 9 – 400m, 10,000m (W)
Tuesday Sept 10 – rest
Wednesday Sept 11 – 10km walk
Thursday Sept 12 – 200m, 3000m steeplechase, 80/100/110m hurdles
Friday Sept 13 – 800m/5000m
Saturday Sept 14 – 4x100m, 20km walk
Sunday Sept 15 – 4x400m, 10km and half-marathon
M35 age group
Jonathan Browne has run a wind-assisted 10.55 100m and 21.20 200m this year and will start favourite in both. He won the world 200 title last summer and was second in the 100m.
World masters 400m champion Stewart Marshall is not competing but with world indoor silver medallist David Awde in the field Britain should win a medal.
Mike Cummings, who is one of the youngest masters competing, should have a chance in the 800m and 1500m but in the latter will be up against Portugal’s Salford-based BMAF champion Bruno Lima.
Medals will be harder to win in the longer events but North of England senior bronze medallist Lee Athersmith should be in contention in the steeplechase.
World masters runner-up Andy Clements should head the 400m hurdles with Awde capable of a second medal.
The field generally look less likely to produce medals but Richard Martin should go home with rewards from the weight and the hammer while Jamie Creighton was fourth indoors in Torun and should be in the medal hunt again in the high jump.
M40 age group
Defending 200m champion Tamunonengiye-Ofori Ossai might have more chance this time at 100m as in the longer sprint he faces Sweden’s world indoor champion Lion Martinez and the other medallists from Torun, fellow Brits Gavin Stephens and world outdoor champion Dominic Bradley, who don’t all do the shorter event.
Over 400m, David Brown was third in Torun in the winter and should be a factor in the final.
At 1500m, former 3:42 man Matt Barnes, who was fourth in Malaga, should fare better in Italy.
At 5000m, Leeds relay stalwart Mick Hill is another medal chance.
Again, British field medals will be rare with Stuart Thurgood having opportunities in the weight.
M45 age group
Mike Coogan will be running the 200m, the distance he won at in Torun while Ciaran Harvey could go close in the sprints with probably more chance at 100m.
World masters indoor champion Joe Appiah is among the favourites for the 110m hurdles but he will be up against Switzerland’s European record-holder Thomas Keller.
In the long jump he will face arch rival Mattias Sunneborn of Sweden while fellow Brit Craig Beacham could also go close.
Spanish-based Ed Betts had run a 56.12 400m hurdles this summer and a repeat of that time will bring him gold.
In the shot both Steve McCauley and Lithuanian born Gintas Degutis should challenge.
Simon Baines, second in Torun, heads a UK strong team in the half-marathon though is also entered in the 10km which is on the same day.
M50 age group
Curiously while no Brits are ranked highly at the 100m, they occupy five of the top seven places at 200m. Darren Scott, in his first year in the age group and a winner of major titles since 2007, looks the best of them.
Michael Gardiner and Dominic Bokor-Ingram are also in the medal mix but have a better chance at 400m where they top the rankings.
World indoor champion Mark Symes is favourite for the 800m with Adrian Haines also a medal hope and that pair could also win medals at 1500m, where Symes is reigning world outdoor champion although the home nation have some fast runners to challenge the Brits.
Controversially, American guest Don Drummond should dominate the two hurdles races.
British field success will be less on the track but Adam Young, who has leapt 1.80m this summer, tops the high jumping rankings.
M55 age group
Don Brown tops the rankings at 100m and is highly ranked at 200m. He also runs the hurdles where Britain could take the first four places with Barrie Marsden, Clarence Firstborn and Neil Tunstall all in the mix, while Tunstall also has a big chance at 400m hurdles.
Guy Bracken is the reigning world indoor and outdoor champion at 1500m and should add to his many titles.
In the 5000m, Andrew Leach in his first year in the age group, should medal and although former world champion Ben Reynolds is not at his best, he can’t be discounted.
At 10,000m Leach is a big favourite while Reynolds goes in the Half-marathon and Leach goes for his third title at the 10km.
Steve Linsell has a good chance in the high jump while Keith Beard is the reigning javelin champion but has not competed thus far in 2019.
M60 age group
John Wright has a good chance in the 200m with guesting American Val Barnwell probably the quickest competitor.
He was second in the M55 world 400m last year and he will start a clear favourite in the longer event.
Paul Forbes is also entered for the 800m but his best chance comes in the 800m in which he was a 1:45.66 man and Commonwealth Games finalist in his senior career.
The Scot’s biggest challenge could come from fellow Brits Paul Fletcher and Robert Bigger.
Another Scot, who could strike gold is world masters 10km champion Alastair Walker, who should dominate on the road but also looks much the best of the 5000m contenders.
In the field, John Moreland, who tops the world rankings, looks a likely gold medallist in the discus and could also come close in the weights pentathlete.
M65 age group
Steve Peters has not competed so far in 2019, but has been winning major titles for over 20 years and, if fit, will be favourite in the 100m, 200m and 400m and expected to gain medals in the relays.
Ian Broadhurst could be the best of the other Brits at 200m and 400m but his best chance comes in the 300m hurdles, at which he was the M60 champion two years ago.
Ireland’s multiple world champion Joe Gough will dominate the 800m and 1500m though Dave Bedwell could gain a GB medal at the longer event.
Bob Bradbury could win a medal in the two longest track events at 5000m and 10,000m, while Paul Whelpton looks a likely medallist in the half-marathon.
Florida-based Guy Dirkin has a great chance of striking gold in the discus and further medals in the weight, hammer and weights pentathlon.
M70+ age group
M65 world champion Alex Swiecicki should add to his steeplechase titles in the M70s while 5000m track walk world record-holder Ian Richards should win his event and possibly the 20km and 20km walks too if he can impress the judges.
In the M75s, Victor Shirley, won world indoor 800m silver and 1500m gold and could go even better in Italy and he also tackles the 5000m and road 10km with Spain’s Emilio De La Camara probably his biggest challenger.
At the M80s, Tony Bowman is the best British medal hope and he goes in the 100m, 200m, decathlon, 80m hurdles and 200m hurdles.
John Watts, has been breaking British records all summer and he could win a medal in all the throws.
M90 Dalbir Singh Deol should win a medal at both 100m and 200m.
» A preview to the women’s events can be seen here