Han­son’s like a fine wine

He’s get­ting bet­ter with age

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By DAVE CRAMP­TON

Peter Han­son may be 77 and living in a re­tire­ment vil­lage, but that hasn’t stopped the Porirua great-grand­fa­ther tour­ing the globe rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand on the world ath­let­ics stage.

Back home, he has al­ready cleaned up in two na­tional com­pe­ti­tions this year.

He of­ten re­turns from com­pe­ti­tions with medals, which he frames and puts up on the wall in his re­tire­ment vil­lage unit – but he is fast run­ning out of wall space.

‘‘I‘ve got about 30 medals in to­tal,’’ he said proudly.

‘‘Oh, I’ve only counted the golds. I’ve also got nu­mer­ous sil­vers and bronzes.’’

One thing that has eluded him is a world masters ti­tle – his best in three at­tempts is a sil­ver.

At the New Zealand masters games in Fe­bru­ary he came away with six gold medals from 60m to 1500m, and man­aged 7min 30s in the 1500m.

In the field events at the masters games, he traded places with a slightly younger com­peti­tor, and was beaten for the first time since 2009.

‘‘I beat him in the shot put and he beat me in the dis­cus,’’ he said.

This month March, he com­peted at the New Zealand masters ath­let­ics tour­na­ment in Tau­ranga and cut back on his num­ber of events be­cause he was ex­pect­ing tougher com­pe­ti­tion.

He won the 1500m, and the 800m in sat­is­fy­ing time of 3min 45s, but was runnerup in the shot put.

‘‘I got beaten for the first time in four years by a young guy com­ing through.’’

That ‘‘ young guy’’ is 75. Han­son has vowed to im­prove.

He does weight train­ing at the Sum­mer­set Aotea re­tire­ment vil­lage, where he lives with his wife, Nola,.

Han­son is plan­ning to go to Rara­tonga in Oc­to­ber to com­pete in the Ocea­nia cham­pi­onships.

Next year he is tar­get­ing the world masters cham­pi­onships.

How­ever, he felt his best chance of earn­ing a world ti­tle would come in 2017 at the world masters games in Auck­land, when he will have ‘‘aged up’’ – mean­ing he will be the youngest com­pet­ing in his age group.

‘‘I will turn 80 the day it starts. I might be a bit more com­pet­i­tive. I’m mo­ti­vated to win.’’

He is un­sure what he’d do if he wasn’t in­volved in ath­let­ics – but he is sure he wouldn’t be sit­ting around.

‘‘I’d prob­a­bly play a bit of golf,’’ he said.

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