13 Male and 11 female sprinters & hurdlers will make up part of the team from SA who are gearing up for the 20th World Masters Athletics Championships in Port Alegra, Brazil to be held from 16 - 27 October 2013 .  This will be the first time the championships are held on the South American Continent.

ADRI SCHOEMAN (past Olympian 1992) going into her first world masters champs with best times of 11,90 and 24,3, will be one of the main contenders for the sprint titles in the (W.40-44) age group.  In 2012 she was ranked 2nd in the 100m with a time of 11,95 behind Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas who at the time was still competing in the elite competitions but was not an officially registered masters athlete.   In 2012 Adri was at the top of the rankings with a time of 24,46. 

In the 45-49 age group WINNIE DE WINNAAR has the best time on paper with 12,80 and 26,3.  She has always just missed out on a medal in past championships and was hoping that this would be her big year.   She is struggling with a knee injury which could hamper her performances, but we hope the knee will hold up and wish her the best of luck.

The pair together with newcomers Kehilwe (Jennifer) Booysen (35-39) and Jenene Petersen (40-44) could make up a mean relay team, but will have to compete in the 35-39 age groups.   Older athletes can move down in age groups, but younger ones may not move into a older age group to form a relay team.

Toy Ungerer (65-69) will be participating in her 3rd world championships and came away from the last championships in Sacramento (USA) in 2011 with 2 bronze in the 100m and 200m and 2 silvers in the 400m and the long jump.   She is also the S.A. record holder in  5 age group events.  In the 200m she has the 2nd fastest time, but will come up against Phil Rascker from the USA who holds numerous world titles and age group records.

Magdalena Tomlinson (70-74) has participated in a number of world championships and has medalled in the sprints and hurdle events. She is among the top contenders for a medal in the 200 and 400m sprints, but her strength lies in her hurdle events (80m & 200m).

Christie du Plooy (80-84) will be participating in her third world championships and based on her best times thus far, she is the leading lady for all 3 titles - the sprints and 400m.   She also holds 5 S.A. age group records in these events including 2 triple jump records.

The evergreen Mavis Hutchison (80-84), better known in South Africa as a pioneer for women’s ultra long distance running, will be participating in her 8th world championships in the 100 and 200m.

In 2012 our female sprinters and hurdlers ranked under the top athletes in the world – see rankings

In the men's sprint group, we have seen some good performances during the last season, but it seems as if this may be the year for ladies.   The most outstanding in the mens section is the evergreen 
Lucas Nel (90-94) who was a Springbok cross country runner in his hey day.  He will be participating in the 100, 200,400, 800 and 1500m and is sure to set up a number of world records !  He is the current world record holder in the 400m (85-89) with a time of 80,47 and holds 10 S.A. age group records in various events.


In the ladies hurdle events Stephanie Claassen (60-64) (who will be competing in her 9th championships and who achieved  a bronze medal in the 300m hurdles in 2011) and Magdalena Tomlinson (70-74) are among the top contenders for medals in their respective hurdle events.

Michael Schroeder (45-49) has one of the fastest times going into his 400m hurdles race.  He won a bronze medal in 2007 in a time of 56.97  in the 40-44.

We wish all these athletes and the many other sprinters in the team, some of whom will be participating for the first time in a world championships, everything of the best.   Even though everyone cannot win a title or a medal, the atmosphere at such a world championships will carry everyone to their personal best performances !   They will be competing against some of the best athletes in the world, some of whom were Olympians in their prime. However, it should not detract from their own performances, but only inspire them to achieve the best that they are capable of.


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