Canadians had a strong showing at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) Indoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

The world championships, which took place March 18-25, featured athletes 35 years of age and older. The star for Canada, in terms of gold medals, was 80-year-old Christa Bortignon, who won six golds including three in running events. The great-grandmother is one of Canada’s most notable masters athletes. She won all six events in which she competed at this year’s worlds and accounted for more than half of Canada’s gold medal haul. She is a past WMA athlete of the year.

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World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships

Christa Bortignon wins the W80 60m. Photo: Doug Smith.

Canadians won gold and silver in two events including the W60 60m and the M50 800m. In the 60m, Karla Del Grande, 63, and Wendy Alexis, 61, went 1-2 on the world stage running 8.84 and 8.89, respectively. The duo went 1-2, in that same order, in the W60m 200m as well.

World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships

Karla Del Grande (right of screen) and Wendy Alexis win gold and silver in the W60 60m final. Photo: Doug Smith.

It was also a 1-2 sweep for Canada in the M50 800m as Paul Osland and Michael Sherar went separated by less than 0.3 seconds running 2:06.96 2:07.25. Osland, 53, competed for Canada at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Osland also won the M50 1,500m with a solid 4:26.83.

According to the results page, Canada’s medal haul consisted of 10 golds, 12 silver, and eight bronze putting them 14th overall with 30 medals in total. Australia dominated the event with 124 cumulative medals. According to the WMA, there were approximately 4,000 athletes from 60 countries competing at the championships.

Here’s a list of Canada’s gold medal winners: Osland (M50 800m and W50 1,500m), Del Grande (W60 60m and W60 200m) and Bortignon (W80 60m, W80 200m, W80 400m, W80 Long Jump, W80 Triple Jump and W80 Shot Put).

Toronto will host the 2020 World Masters Athletics Championships, 45 years after the Ontario capital hosted the inaugural WMA Championships in 1975. The next WMA Championships will be held outdoors in Málaga, Spain in 2018.

Full results from Daegu and the 2017 WMA Indoor Championships can be found here.


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