Silver for Mensah Elliott in World Masters Athletics Indoor Championship
- Tuesday, 17 April 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Gambian athlete Mensah Elliott has returned from the World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships with a silver medal for Gambia in the 60mH, an event held in Jyväskylä, Finland.
It could be recalled that the 35-year-old athlete switched allegiance last June [in 2011], in order to be able to compete for The Gambia. But unfortunately for him, due to a number of injuries, he has not been able to race sooner after switching but he was determined to do something before the indoor season finished this year.
The World Masters Athletics Championships in Finland was the 5th World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships and was very well represented with approximately 4000 competitors from all around the world.
Mensah Elliott was the sole representative for The Gambia and had to make sure that he was noticed, flying the flag for The Gambia. He was amazed how many people have never heard of the country or where it is.
Mensah made the finals for the 60m sprint and was immediately noticed. He had people coming up to him asking him about the country as Gambia has never before been represented in these championships so people were surprised that someone from such a small country could make it to the finals of a sprints event.
In the 60mH, Mensah qualified easily for the finals and he finished 2nd, running the same time as the winner, 8.12s. The Gambian claimed that he should have won really but admits he had a bad start.
“I should have won [the event] really. My start was not the best but I was able to take the lead after the first hurdle,” Mensah said. “Unfortunately, I hit the last three hurdles, which enabled the other athlete to gain ground on me,” he added.
Mensah said that pictures show that he clearly won the event from the right but the judges decided to use the one on the left to determine the winner.
Mensah said, “The photo finish from the right clearly shows me ahead of this athlete but the judges decided to go with the image from the camera on the left. They said it was more conclusive.”
The Gambian said that he is however pleased with the result considering that he haven’t been able to train over the hurdles for over three months due to a hamstring injury. His next move is to work on getting rid of the injury he has and train as best as he can for the outdoor season to be held next year in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
About World Masters Athletics Championships
The World Masters Athletics Championships are the biannual championships for athletics events held under the auspices of World Masters Athletics, formerly called the World Association of Veteran Athletes, for athletes over the age of 35 years old.
The outdoor championships began in Toronto, Canada on August 11, 1975 and have continued in odd numbered years. In July 2011, World Masters Athletics changed their constitution to hold Championships in even numbered years, starting in 2016.
Perth, Australia was selected to hold the first even years meet. Later Road Racing Championships called Non-Stadia Championships were added, starting in Birmingham, England August 29–30, 1992. Indoor Championships in even numbered years started Sindelfingen, Germany, March 10–14, 2004.