Masters thrilled with home-ground advantage
MORE than 4000 athletes are expected to descend on WA for the World Masters Athletics Championships to be held in Perth next year.
October 26 marked exactly one year before the tournament kicks off, with competition at the Ern Clark Athletic Centre in Cannington as well as the WA Athletics Stadium in Mt Claremont.
The WA Athletics Stadium will be the main stadium and will host the 3000m steeplechase as well as jumps and throws.
The Ern Clark centre will be used for the 10,000m and 5000m run and walk events, as well as some throws.
There will also be a marathon and half-marathon run around the banks of the Swan River.
It is the first time Perth will host the championships in its 41-year history, with Melbourne (1987) and Brisbane (2001) the only other Australian cities to have previously hosted the event.
One athlete who will be competing is 83-year-old runner David Carr.
Carr is now retired after previously working as a high school prin- cipal and teacher in the south-eastern suburbs.
He is in top form, winning four events at this year’s world championships in Lyon in France.
“I would run six days per week, and I go to the gym as well,” he said.
“We are so lucky to have it here in WA, the home-ground advantage is wonderful.”
World Masters Athletics president Stanley Perkins said he was excited to bring the championships to Perth.
“You’re never too old to do masters athletics, you can only be too young,” he said.
“The interest in people coming from around the world to Perth surprised me,” he said.
The event is expected to attract more than 4000 athletes and 3000 supporters.
Tourism WA executive director of events Gwyn Dolphin said it would be great to show Perth and Australia to the world.
The championships are open to any athlete aged 35 and over and there are no entry standards.
For more information, go to www.perth2016.com.
Hula-hooping coach Bree Kirk-Burnnand will attempt to break the Guinness World Record on Thursday.
Marathon runner John Gilmour, walker Lyn Ventris and middle-distance runner David Carr are looking forward to the world championships next year.