ATHLETICS - Stratford masters impress for Britain at World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships - The Stratford Observer

ATHLETICS - Stratford masters impress for Britain at World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships

Aaron Sutcliffe 5th Apr, 2023 Updated: 6th Apr, 2023   0

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Athletic Club’s masters athletes helped Great Britain to a fourth-place finish at the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Torún, Poland.

Britain placed an impressive fourth out of 55 nations in the medal table as hosts Poland topped the standings ahead of Germany, United States and Team GB.

Stratford trio Paula Williams, Phil Brennan and Paul Hawkins all competed for Britain with great distinction as the former won a medal of each colour in her three events.

Williams began the Championships with bronze in the discus as she threw 12.66 metres to finish just 15 centimetres behind the silver medal winner.

However, Williams stormed to gold to be crowned world champion in her age group in the javelin as she threw 35.25m despite having to compete in the snow as the event took place outdoors.

And Williams rounded off the Championships with silver in the 60-metre hurdles in a time of 9.71 seconds just behind the race winner (9.66 secs) in a competitive field.

Williams said: “To win a medal in each of my events was an amazing experience.

“One of the highlights was meeting up with my fellow Stratford Masters athletes Phil Brennan and Paul Hawkins.

“Masters Athletics is great – the competition is rewarding and the social/community aspects are just as important to me.”

Brennan also came home with a medal as he claimed silver in the gruelling 10k race in a time of 52 minutes 25 secs having narrowly missed out on bronze in the 3000m earlier in the Championships.

Despite being plagued by injuries in the build up to the competition, Brennan was still able to place fourth in the 3000m in a time of 15 mins 8.91 secs.

And just four days after winning silver in the 10k, Brennan competed in the half marathon in cold and wet conditions and claimed a hugely impressive bronze medal in a time of 2 hours 1 min.

Britain claimed gold in the half marathon team event which meant Brennan matched Williams’ haul of a medal of each colour.

Brennan said: “It was an unforgettable experience to be part of the British team, make new friends and renew old friendships after four years.”

Lastly, Stratford’s club chairman, Hawkins, endured a Championships of mixed emotions after he was disqualified 7k into the 10k road walk for a bent knee.

Hawkins was unable to lock his knee properly but remained in good spirits having started chemotherapy for cancer two years ago showing just how much progress he has made during that time.


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