2019 European Masters Athletics Championships, Venice ITALY
with thanks to Jonty Mitchell for the photos
Several first and second claim senior members of Walton AC, competed in the 2019 edition of the European Masters Athletics Championships. These were held in Venice, Italy over the period of 5-15th September.
In the W35 category, Fiona de Mauny, the reigning W35 800m World Champion, had a challenging task of competing in the 400m, 800m and the 1500m events. Her first event of the championship was the 1500m where she qualified comfortably in the heats before finishing in a very respectable 5th in the Final. Entering her next 2 events Fiona had the tough task of competing against pre-race favourite, Aneta Lemiesz of Poland, who has been a regular pacemaker on the Diamond League circuit in 2019. In the 400m final Fiona ran a season’s best time to secure the silver medal behind Aneta. In the 800m final, Fiona ran a gutsy race taking the lead from the start and giving the Pole a stern challenge. Fiona was rewarded with a second silver medal and a season’s best time of 2:12.78 and finished well clear of the bronze medallist.
In the W40 category, Susie McLoughlin looked strong in the qualifying rounds of the 100m and 200m to secure good lanes in both the finals. The 100m final, which took place in torrential conditions, had a strong British presence, and Susie won the Silver medal, in a season best of 12.72secs behind World Indoor 200m Champion, Malgozata Gasowska, from Poland. Susie picked up her second silver medal, in the 200m, this time in sunny conditions albeit into a slight headwind. Susie struck gold in the 4x100m relay with a strong British quartet who smashed the W40 UK Record, in a time of 49.65secs, finishing well ahead of the other teams. Susie, the current World W40 400m Champion, added another silver medal to her tally by running a fast anchor leg for the British women’s W40 4x400m relay team to win her 4th medal of the championships
The 10km Road Championship Race was a mass event mixed in with an Open Road Race which took place in extremely hot temperatures on the streets of Jesselo. In a festival atmosphere, Jamie McLoughlin, ran a modest race to finish 90th overall and 12th in M40 age category.
Louise Wood competed in both the Long Jump and Triple Jump in the W55 category. In a week where the weather conditions varied from torrential rain to hot and sunny, Louise drew the short straw and saw her Triple Jump final take place in horrendously wet conditions. Despite this, she won the bronze medal with a jump of 9.86m, just 20cm behind the silver medallist from Sweden. She followed this up with a respectable 7th place finish in the W50 Long Jump competition several days later.
In the W55 category, hot favourite Virginia Mitchell came away with three Gold medals. Virginia, who is the reigning W55 400m & 800m World Champion, won the 400m comfortably, before stepping up to the 800m where she was up against former World Record holder and multiple European Champion, Clare Elms. In the 800m final, Vi put on a superb tactical display, controlling the race and covering any moves Clare made. In the final 150m, Virginia pulled away to win recording a new Championship Best time in the process. Virginia’s third gold medal came in the W55 4x400m where there was no doubt that Britain would win, but what wasn’t expected was the ladies put in a superb performance to set a new W55 World Record.
Tony Mitchell had mixed fortunes. After pulling up with a minor injury in the M60 300 hurdles heats, he bounced back the following week with a storming second leg run in the 4 x 100m relay to win a bronze medal in the M60 category. The following day, Tony ran a courageous 3rd leg for the men’s M60 4x400m relay team, where Britain finished in the silver medal position, only to be disqualified in the aftermath due to there being judged a technical infringement.
The next major Masters event is the 2020 European Indoor Championships which take place in Braga, Portugal in March. This will be followed by the 2020 edition of the World Masters Championship will be held in Toronto, Canada in July. We hope there will be a strong Walton presence at these future events.