World Masters Athletics Championships
The World Masters Athletics Championships ( WMAC or WMA ), the World Athletics Championships seniors aged 35 and over. They are held every two years since 1975. According to the classification of the IAAF, the best will be determined in age groups in 5-year increments. Between 1992 and 2004 world championships were held in the road race every two years. Since 2004, the Winter Season the World Indoor Championships in alternate years with the open-air competitions.
The first organized senior athletes were long- distance runners, who carried out in 1968 as an interest group Senior distance runner ( Igael ) organized and own Marathon Championships in the Netherlands. Their target was generally recognized competitions in their own age groups. Among the founders of the Igael included Arthur Lainbert, Meinrad Naegele, Dr. Ernst van Aaken and the Belgian Jacques Serruys.
At the same time, regardless of the road running movement formed in various countries already smaller clubs and clubs of senior athletes. Formed in 1965, for example, in the USA the first U.S. Masters Track and Field team, headed by lawyer David Pain. 1972 organized the Woodford Green AC at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London, the first real international masters athletics competitions. They brought together some groups from the USA, Canada and Australia.
I. WMA in Toronto
The first WMA Championships were held in 1975 in Toronto by the Canadian Masters Association under the direction of Don Farquharson. They brought together athletes from some 32 countries. Among them was when the only participant from Italy, Cesare Beccalli, who was instrumental in the founding of the Italian Senior Citizens' Association and two years later fought out the first championships of the European Veterans Athletic Association ( EVAA ). Other prominent participants were the 90 -year-old Duncan MacLean and Roy Fowler.
During the first Senior World Championships to the World Association of Veteran Athletes ( WAVA ) found together. The governing body consisted of Jack Fitzgerald ( GBR ); Don Farquharson ( CAN), and David Pain ( USA), Wal Sheppard (AUS), Maeve Kyle (NIR), Jacques Serruys (BEL ), Robert Fine ( USA), Ian Hume ( CAN) and Konrad Hernelind (SWE ).
II WMA in Gothenburg
Prior to the championships, there were discussions with the IAAF on the admission of participants who had lost their amateur status. With the visit of the then president of the IAAF, Adriaan Paulen, at the championships and his enthusiasm, an agreement was possible. Two months after the competitions of WAVA was granted the sole right to decide on the admission of athletes. The age limit was set at 40 for men and for women to 35. Rule 53 of the IAAF has been changed accordingly.
At the championships in Slottskogsvallen stadium participated 2750 athletes. One of the most outstanding moments was the meeting of the discus - Olympic champion from 1972 Ludvik Danek of Czechoslovakia with the multiple Olympic gold medalist Al Oerter of the United States. During the performances of Roy Fowler ( UK) and Gaston Roelants (Belgium ) were significant. Roelants ran over 3000 m steeplechase world record one seniors and finished after his active career. For the first time started in Gothenburg for a long time dominant, blind Sprinter Assmy Fritz ( Germany ). More championship debutants were the Australians Tony Blue and Noel Clough ( 800 m), the Swiss javelin thrower Urs von Wartburg and Jan Hesselnberg from Norway. Once again attended Jack Greenwood and the now 92 -year-old Duncan MacLean for attention.
In Gothenburg, the women's events were the first time a stronger presence, underscored by the senior debut of Miki Gormann (USA).
On 9 August 1977, the WAVA officially founded. The management has been expanded to include representatives from the various continents and a statute was passed.