British veterans enjoy 100m success at European Masters Championships in Venice with three golds in 15 minutes and five overall

After the extremely hot weather of the opening day, Friday was mostly cool, wet and windy and not conducive to fast sprint times.

Nevertheless, Britain’s sprinters had a highly successful time and there were 100m gold medals for Steve Peters, John Wright, Don Brown, Jonathan Browne and Caroline Powell.

The first three golds came back to back in the space of just 15 minutes. Elsewhere, walker Ian Richards also won gold.

Doctor Stephen Peters, surely one of the greatest ever British masters with well over 20 years of domination in his age group, started it rolling with a M65 gold medal.

The well-known sports psychologist had remarkably not raced since winning a world masters sprint triple last September in Malaga.

After holding back in the heats he blasted to yet another gold in the final, winning easily in 12.95 (-2.2). Germany’s Rudolf Koenig (13.18) followed with John Browne winning bronze in 13.20.

Next on the track was the M60 race and John Wright won easily in 12.57 (-1.9), two metres up on US guest Val Barnwell (12.77) though Guner Gumgor took European silver in 12.78.

Britain’s hat-trick of titles was completed by Don Brown, who was a clear winner of the M55 race. He fought a strong 3.6m/sec headwind to win in 12.13, two metres ahead of Paolo Mazzocconi’s 12.34 as Pat Logan took bronze (12.61).

Jonathan Browne won the M35 100m in 10.94 into a strong 2.5m/sec headwind as he just edged Giovanni Tomasicchio of Italy (10.95).

Ciaran Harvey won a M45 bronze in 11.83 behind winner Ricardo Lemos of Portugal’s 11.79 and M75 Victor Novell (14.34) and M80 Anthony Treacher (16.19) won further bronzes.

Controversially, while the men ran their 100m races in the main stadium in Jesolo, where nearly all athletes are based, the women were competing 20km away in Caorle, where there were far fewer supporters and they did not get the usual support from the male sprinters.

Caroline Powell continued her long run of successes. In her first Europeans in the W65s age group she won in 15.09 (-0.4) with fellow Brit Joylyn Saunders-Mullins second in 15.30.

Malgorzata Gasowska of Poland won the W40 100m in 12.60 (2.2) but was followed home by three Brits – Susie McLoughlin (12.72), Joanne Frost (12.90) and Karen Burles (13.00).

Away from the sprints, Ian Richards continued his good form with a clear win in the M70 5000m walk in 27:08.70 to take gold by almost 25 seconds.

Peter Boszko won a further British medal in third (27:33.14) just three hundredths of a second behind Ettorino Formentin.

Also in the walks, Catherine Duhig picked up a W60 silver in 30:26.63 behind Marie Astrid Monmessin of France (27:20.00).

Iris Holder, the W75 triple jump winner on day one, showed her versatility with a 18.93 for bronze as Hannalore Venn of Germany won in 18.25.

Dorothy Fraser won W80 bronze in 22.14 in a race won by Rietje Dijkman in a European record 17.56.

In the field, David Valentine won a M60 hammer bronze with a 48.23m throw as Gottfried Gassenbauer won an Austrian gold with 54.51m.

Louise Wood won a W50 triple jump bronze in 9.86m as Kirsi Spoof-Tuomi of Finland won with 10.38m.

Marianne Berndt won W40 bronze in 10.82m behind Spanish winner Cristin Teixera Garcia’s 12.52m while Lynsey Whyke won W35 triple jump bronze (10.37m).

In the weight, M35 George Perkins (13.48m) and M40 Stuart Thurgood (15.51m) both won silver medals.

Other performances of note included W65 Romanian Mihaela Loghin’s 12.28m shot win.

At the end of day two Germany were top of the medal tables (17 gold, 15 silver, 12 bronze) from Italy (13, 12, 9), Finland (9, 4, 6) and Great Britain (8, 7, 13) and so far remarkably 24 different countries have won a gold medal with just under a 100 having already been decided with eight days of competition still to go.

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