Irish Masters Athletes takes Torun (Poland) by storm!


The 8th World Masters Indoors Championships were held from 24th-30th March 2019 in Torun, Poland.

The 106 Irish Masters Athletes that traveled (from age 35 to age 83) performed exceptionally well during the week winning a total of 41 medals (10 Gold, 18 Silver and 13 Bronze).

This ranked Ireland 11th overall out of the 101 countries competing.The stadium is one of the best in the world and the atmosphere was electric all week particularly on the final day for the 4x200m relays when the large Irish contingent raised the roof with an Irish roar for all 3 Irish relay teams (W35, M35 and M50) – all of whom went close to medalling.


There were many new Irish National Records (“NR”) set and some truly outstanding performances including:

  • Joe Gough (West Waterford) – M65 - 2 Gold medals (800m and 1,500m).
  • John McDermott (Sligo) – M75 - 1 Gold Medal (400m) and 2 Bronze Medals (60m Hurdles and Pentathlon – 5 events) – setting 5 new NR’s in the process.
  • Annette Quaid (Leevale, Cork) – M40 – 2 Silver Medals (400m - new NR; and 800m) – particularly noteworthy was how Annette recovered from a fall during the final of the 800m which saw her go from 2nd to last but she ran an exceptionally gutsy race to recover to win Silver.
  • Snezana Bechtina (Clonliffe) – W35 – 1 Gold (200m – new NR) and 1 Silver (400m)
  • Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers) – M40 – 1 Gold (Discus) and 1 Silver (Shot Put)
  • Ann Woodlock (Donore Harriers) – W80 – 1 Gold (3k) and 1 Silver (1.5k) – setting 2 NRs.
  • Annette Kealy (Raheny) – W50 – 1 Gold (8k Cross Country) and 1 Silver (3k)
  • Pauline Moran (Mayo) – W60 – 2 Silvers (in 8k Cross Country and 10k) and 1 Bronze (Team - Half Marathon)
  • Mick Byrne (Parnells, Rathdrum) – M55 – 2 Gold (10k individual and Team 8k Cross Country)
  • Pat O’Grady (Clonliffe) – M55 – 1 Gold (Team 8k Cross Country) and 1 Bronze (Half Marathon)
  • Mary Leech (Drogheda & District) - W40 - 2 Silvers (1.5k and 3k)


Full list of other Irish medal winners:


  • Anne Gilshinan – W50 – 1.5k
  • Tommy Payne – M60 – 8k Cross Country
  • Dorothy McLennan – W80 - Pentathlon
  • Sean McMullin – M70 – 10k Walk
  • Jackie Carthy – O45 – 8k Cross Country



  • Michelle Kenny – W35 – 10k
  • Mark O’Shea – M35 – 1.5k
  • Jackie Stamp – W45 – 8k Cross Country
  • Shane Healy – M50 – 8k Cross Country
  • Geraldine Finnegan – W50 - Pentathlon
  • Noreen Bonner – W60 – Half Marathon
  • Eileen Kenny – W65 – 10k
  • Jim O’Shea – M75 – High Jump



  • Gold – W60 – Half Marathon (Noreen Bonner, Pauline Moran and Nuala Reilly)
  • Gold – M55 – 8k Cross Country (Mick Byrne, Pat O’Grady and Mark Connolly)
  • Silver - M35 – 8k Cross Country (Stephen Hunter, Tim Twomey and James Grufferty)
  • Silver – M50 – 8k Cross Country (Shane Healy, Ian Egan, Robert Maher, Cathal McLaughlin)
  • Bronze – W55 – 8k Cross Country (Kay Byrne, Finola Moore and Anne Gormley)
  • Bronze - M35 10k Walk (Ross Alexander M35, Bob Lyne M50 and Tony Malone M65)


There were over 30 World Records set during the week including a new M95 60m record of 14.09 seconds for Pekka Penttila of Finland.

Masters Athletics is primarily about friendships and fun, but with a good dose of competitive rivalry thrown into the mix. If you are interested in getting involved in Masters Athletics log onto or contact your local athletics club. 

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