St. Marys resident finishes first in 60-64 high jump event in Toronto
By Pat Payton
TORONTO – It wasn’t a personal best, but it was good enough to give Sue Hannon, of St. Marys, the gold medal in high jump.
The event was the North America, Central America and Caribbean Region of World Masters Athletic Championships (NCCWMA), held here last month (July 18-21) at York University and Varsity Stadium. It featured over 1,100 athletes from 32 affiliated countries. There were also athletes competing from other countries such as the Netherlands and Britain.
Hannon’s leap of 1.26 metres gave her first place (among five competitors) in the women’s 60 to 64 age division. “I usually clear 1.28 to 1.30 metres,” she said. “I was really pleased. We host this (NCCWMA event) every two years and two years ago I got the silver. This year, I beat the American girl who beat me two years ago.”
Hannon noted that there were 19 women from 60 years old right up to 89 in the various Masters high jump divisions in Toronto. “It was phenomenal,” she said. “One of the divisions was 85 to 89.”
The World Masters track and field championships are held both outdoors and indoors, and alternate each year.
Hannon has competed in two World Masters competitions in recent years. She won silver in high jump at the indoors event in South Korea in March, 2017. She also competed outdoors in Spain in 2018, but didn’t medal in a big field of 15 women in the 60-64 age division. “I jumped 1.28 metres, but the winner jumped something like 1.38 or 1.40. I was right in the middle of the pack.” At the Spain World Masters (outdoors), there were approximately 10,000 athletes, she said. The 2019 World Masters (indoors) were held in Poland this past winter.
2020 Worlds in Toronto
Hannon plans to compete in the 2020 World Masters track and field championships (outdoors) in Toronto next July. She thinks it’s the first time Canada has hosted the event.
Leading up to the Worlds, she will be approaching area high schools with hopes of training at these venues. “There’s no place to practice the high jump,” Hannon said. She is covered by insurance under the Ontario Athletics Association.
The 2021 World Masters will be held indoors in Edmonton.
Hannon, who recently turned 63, can compete in the 60-64 age division for the next two years.
“It’s just that it’s fun; you meet a lot of new people from everywhere, and I’m still able to do it,” she replied when asked why she competes in Masters track and field. “When I first tried it, muscle memory just took me up and over the bar. I had to work a little on my timing, but it was amazing how quickly it came back.”