Perth on track for Masters Athletics Championships

Marathon runner John Gilmour, walker Lyn Ventris and middle-distance runner David Carr.        Picture: Stewart Scott from Clip Media
Marathon runner John Gilmour, walker Lyn Ventris and middle-distance runner David Carr.        Picture: Stewart Scott from Clip Media

MORE than 4000 athletes are expected to descend on WA for the World Masters Athletics Championships to be held in Perth next year.

Last Monday marked exactly one year before the tournament kicks off, which is set to be held in 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 feature track events up to 3000m steeplechase, as well as jumps and throws.

Ern Clark 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 hold the championships in its 41-year history, with Melbourne (1987) and Brisbane (2001) the only other Australian cities to have previously held it.

One athlete who will be competing is 83-year-old runner and Bicton resident David Carr.

Carr is now retired after previously working as a high school principal and teacher in the southeastern suburbs of WA.

Even at 83, he still keeps fit and won four events in Lyon in France at this year’s world championships.

“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.

More than 4000 athletes and 3000 supporters will attend, with two-thirds of them expected to be international.