World Masters Games – Auckland – 23 to 29 Apr 2017

Back home in New Zealand, our throws specialist Debbie McCaw scooped up a fistful of athletics medals at the World Masters Games in Auckland, writes Fiona Kennedy. She won three Golds in the V35 category:

  • Hammer
  • Heavy Weight throw (also known as Heavy Hammer)
  • Weight Pentathlon: shot, heavy weight, discus, hammer and javelin.

She also won Bronze in the Discus and finished fourth in the Shot Putt.

Although the event was held at the end of the summer season in the southern hemisphere, Debbie arrived from the UK with only the benefit of winter training behind her, which makes her achievement all the greater.

It was a close thing, though, as she commented afterwards: “I put extra pressure on myself in my hammer and heavy weight competitions by having no throws in the first two rounds of each competition, so it meant I had to make  my third throw count, otherwise I wouldn’t have got through to the next round of throws and then won gold in both. I did the same in the pentathlon by first two no throws in hammer – this would have meant no points in the hammer and I would have lost the gold medal”.

Being an athlete and therefore a perfectionist by definition, Debbie wasn’t completely satisfied with the distances she threw, but her rational side knows they were pretty good season’s openers.

The World Masters Games is a multi-sport event which only happens every four years and this was the first time it was held in New Zealand.  In total, it attracted over 28,000 competitors from 109 different countries. For Debbie it was a great opportunity to catch up with her old coach and athletes she used to train and compete with. The next one in 2021 is in Kansai in Japan.

The first photo shows Debbie receiving her Pentathlon Gold; the second is her throwing the Heavy Weight; the third is her receiving her Discus Bronze.