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Report by Bridget Cushen

    Track And Field with flags and Pandemic

    The Kiwis are (were) up and running

    We hope you and your family are all well and that you have managed to keep up your training. We understand that the benefits of being fit and otherwise healthy are proving to be of enormous benefit to the recovery rate of those athletes who unfortunately did catch the worse of the COVID-19 virus.


    For organisers planning any track and field event it is like the toils of Sisyphus, such is the fluidity of this awful virus. Luckily for New Zealand Masters athletics, they did get a brief respite and were able to compete in some events on 27/28 February in Auckland in the neck of time before yet another lockdown. One W75 who definitely has not been slacking during lockdowns is Jacqueline Wilson as she heel-toed it round twelve and half laps of the Auckland track fast enough to claim a new W75 5000m track walk in 31.58.65sec, erasing the ever familiar name in Race Walking of Britta Tibbling, the Swede who claimed so many European and World Veteran titles and whose 32.44.76sec had stood on the record books from the memorable WMA Championships in Miyazaki, Japan in the Autumn of 1993. Tibbling does however still hold the W80 records.

    Jacqueline also won the 3000m Walk in 19.18.90sec, if ratified this lowers the 19.23.50sec time set in 2017 by Japan’s Hatue Matumoto in Tokyo.


    Here in Britain all Gyms, Tracks and Leisure Centres are still closed but I read that over 2 million people have taken up jogging or cycling to keep fit, how we might be able to attract them into, or even make them aware of our sport is another challenge.


    Bridget Cushen

    1 March 2021