WORLD SILVER FOR MARIE
Marie Jackson claimed the silver medal in the 45 age group Womens 20 kilometer Racewalk at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Italy on Friday morning. The massive field of over 180 walkers from all womens age groups combined with the mens 65 & upwards categories endured difficult conditions in the heat at Masino Adriatico despite an early 8am start. Pre race favourite and winner of Mondays Masters 45 10 kilometer
Walk Nadine Mazuir of France was DQd at 3 kilometers leaving the Italian Maura Marchiori in the lead ahead of Marie walking a sensible pace, and easing her way into the race in the increasingly hot conditions as the competitors circulated around the 2 kilometer laps on the seafront promenade. Marchiori had opened up a one minute lead on Marie at halfway and both looked comfortable despite the 25° heat. Maries second place never looked threatened as Andrea Zirknintzor of Austria, now several minutes adrift moved
into bronze medal position at 15 kilometres ahead of the Swiss pairing of Dora Jakob and Collette Girard the latter being DQd in the closing stages. Italian Marchiori took the World Masters title in a time of 1.55.59 with Maries finishing in 1.57.20, and just over 4 minutes clear of the Austrian Zirknintor at the finish.
With only 2 GB entries in the 45 age group, team manager Eric Horwill regraded Masters 70 walker Maureen Spelman to make up a team of 3, and her time of 2.18.39 together with Fiona Bishops 6th place finish in 2.14.46 was enough to secure team gold for the GB trio ahead of the Germans.
Pictures by Paul Jackson