It was a brilliant week for our older athletes in the European Masters Indoor Championships in Madrid last week. The action wasn’t limited to indoor competition, with winter throws and a 5km cross country also provided.
The action started on Monday and Tuesday with the 400m races. Chris Taplin (M50), Jo Flowers (W45) and Susie McLoughlin (W40) all raced really well to make their respective finals, with Jo running a big indoor PB of 63.01 to advance on time, while Susie and Chris won their heats, with Chris also winning his semifinal. All three ran brilliantly in their finals, with Chris taking the bronze medal in 54.24 and Susie going one better with a scorching 58.02 to win the gold medal- her best time for four years.
Also on Monday were the 3000m finals, with Jo Locker (W40) running a strong race in a tactical affair, finishing 9th, just outside 11 minutes. Later on Tuesday evening, our two super-sprinters returned for the heats and semis of the 60m, both running tired, with Chris Taplin managing a massive PB 7.62 for 2nd in his heat and 7.70 for 6th in his semi, while Jo Flowers ran a SB 8.66 for 3rd in her heat. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Debbie Singleton competed in the W55 3kg hammer, throwing 25.10m for 15th. Next up on Wednesday were the 800m heats, with Fiona de Mauny (W35) qualifying for thursday’s final with a comfortable front run.
More intense action followed on Thursday, with the start of the 200m, which included heats and finals on the same day. Jo Flowers ran another big indoor PB of 27.87s to qualify for the semifinal, where she finished 5th in 27.98s. Chris similarly suffered from the intensity of racing, recording 24.82s in his heat and 24.70s in his semi which was sadly not quite enough to qualify for the final. Susie had no such difficulties, breezing through heat and semi with comfortable low 26s performances, an omen of things to come. In the final, Susie blasted out of the blocks to win in 25.63s, well clear of her nearest opponent, setting an outright W40 British Record in the process.
Meanwhile, in the 800m final, Fiona won the W35 title with another commanding front-running performance, recording 2:12.28s, and at the throwing track, Debbie Singleton had a great performance, throwing 23.37m for 8th in the W55 discus.
On Friday, the 1500m races were run, with Jo Locker running a strong 5:02.56 for 6th in a slow-starting and physical race, while Fiona returned to the track, losing contact with the lead pack at 400m to go, running 4:48.12 in another tactical race.
On Saturday, it was the 5km “Cross Country” races, in the adjacent park, which, though rather undulating and with some punishing climbs, could not easily be described as muddy. Nevertheless, our athletes put in commanding performances, with Jon Ladley 44th in the M35 race (18.55), Jamie McLoughlin 48th in the M40 race (18.53), Jack Rutherford 39th in the M60 race (31.37) and Jo Locker 35th in the W35-45 race (21.08).
Meanwhile, back on the track, Susie teamed up with Jo Flowers, Hannah Riley and Claire Spurway to win the W35 4x 200m relay gold, while Chris took another bronze medal in the M50 4x 200, teaming up with Donald Brown, Gary Clare and Dominic Bokor-Ingram.
Huge congratulations to our Champions and Medalists!