Mary Thomas has proven she is a legend of our sport with a fantastic World Championship held in Lyon France. Mary is known for her desire to win, her tenacity, and her dogged determination to do well in an event of high importance. She competes better under pressure and is known by her fellow competitors that you never count her out of a competition regardless of injuries that she may be carrying or recovering from. Her record speaks for itself being one of the best javelin throwers this country has produced and especially when she won the Australian title and was not rewarded for Australian selection because she was too young. How things have changed over a long period and a long career in the sport. Mary has made up for this and is having one of the best careers of any masters’ athletes having been placed in most World title events. This year was no different. Her events were hard fought events, some coming down to the final throw. In the weight throw Mary captured the title on the final throw but was defeated in her major event of the javelin by an American also on the final throw, by the smallest of margins. She then backed up to take a third placing in the hammer giving her the full set of medals, at the time of print.
Many junior athletes will read this and possibly say they cannot go that long in the sport, and end up competing in Masters. With Mary Thomas it has been different. She has barley had a season out of the sport, since a budding junior athlete, and if injured she has come back with the same dogged determination that she is known for, at the grand old age of 71. This is the reason she is a legend of our sport. Well done Mary, I know those medals from these championships will take just as much pride of place in your trophy cabinet as all of the others.
Another master’s athlete, Gianna Mogentale has now headed to Beijing and will join the Australian open team for the biggest challenge of her life, racing in the Birds Nest and in front of what is expected to be a large crowd. Her place in the 8 women line up for the chosen event of 50+ Women’s 400m has highlighted she has proven herself to the among the top athletes over this distance in the world, and regardless of the outcome on 29 August, her place at the start is a just reward for her efforts. You cannot forget her training partner, male sprinter John Van Stappen who has been the tower of strength to her in her preparation, and he too is showing that he is on his way back to form after injuries. The two IBS Athletes have done their club proud and are a credit to the club, themselves and their families but it is the example they set for all up and coming athletes that is the best.
To commence the summer track and field season on Sunday 20 September, the above performances of two of the club’s masters highlights that our sport and club caters for anyone who wishes to have a go. So come on down to Kerryn McCann Athletic Centre at 2.00 pm and join in and see how you go, then join us the following week for commencement of club point score. Events for 20 September will be 60m, 100m, 400m, 1500m, shot, discus, long and high jumps, for all ages from under 8 right through to masters men and women.