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Posted: August 10, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: U.S. stars win more medals at World Master Championships

INDIANAPOLIS - U.S. masters athletes clinched 12 relay medals across the various age-groups to help seal a third-place finish in the medal count as the 2009 World Masters Athletics Championships in Lahti, Finland came to a close on Saturday, August 8.

The Championships feature athletes from all over the world, ranging in age from 30-95-plus, in an impressive display of speed, strength and endurance. Track events range from 100- to 10,000-meters, while field events include the full range of jumps and throws. The Championships began July 28 and ran through Saturday, August 8.

U.S. relay teams captured six gold, three silver and three bronze medals out of a total of 40 relay competitions that were ran.

Along with the relays, the marathon, steeplechase and 400m were the final running events to highlight the World Masters Championships.

Lisa Valle had a stunning winning performance in the W40 age-group 2,000m steeplechase as she edged out Annette Weiss of Germany by four hundredths of a second. Valle clocked a winning time of 7 minutes 1.91 seconds and captured her third gold medal of the championships. Valle also won the 800m and the 1,500m.

Gunnar Linde captured the M80 age-group 2,000m steeplechase in a time of 11:23.34.

400m gold medalist winners included Charmaine Roberts (57.68) in the W40 age-group, M40 Robert Thomas (49.62), W35 Latricia Dendy (55.35) and Terrance Spann (48.14) in the M35 age-group.

Dendy not only won the 400m, but captured three other gold medals throughout the week to finish as one of top U.S. athletes with four gold medals.

The women had two bronze medalists in the marathon. Lorna Thomson in the W40 age-group ran a time of 3 hours 5 minutes 23 seconds, and Elena Shemyakina in the W50 age-group completed her marathon in 3:13:31.

As the World Masters Championships finished on Saturday, Rita Hanscom is noted as an outstanding U.S. athlete in the meet with four gold medals (heptathlon, 300m hurdles, long jump, and pole vault) and a world record in the heptathlon of 6,382 pts.

Other impressive U.S athlete finishes include Becky Sisley (three gold, one silver, and bronze medal) in W70 age-group, Jack Bray (three individual gold and two team gold medals) in the M75 age-group, Val Barnwell (two individual gold and two team gold medals) in the M50 age-group, Johnnye Valian (three gold medals) in the W80 and Arnie Gaynor (two gold and two silver medals) in the M80 age-group.

The U.S. totaled 147 medals (63 gold, 43 silver, 41 bronze) and finished in third place. Finland won the team competition with 319 medals, followed by Germany with 284 medals.

U.S. medalists from the 2009 World Masters Championships on the finals days of competition, Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, include:

August 7 
W80 400 m
Sumi Onodera-Leonard (BRONZE) 2:00.45
W70 400 m
Jean Daprano (BRONZE) 1:21.47
W45 Long Jump
Joy Upshaw-Margerum (SILVER) 5.20m
M50 400 m

James Chinn (BRONZE) 53.54

M45 400 m

Corey Moody (BRONZE) 51.42

W40 400 m

Charmaine Roberts (GOLD) 57.68

M40 400 m

Robert Thomas (GOLD) 49.62

W35 400 m

Latrica Dendy (GOLD) 55.35
Lisa Daley (SILVER) 57.14

M35 400 m

Terrance Spann (GOLD) 48.14

W50 Throwing Pentathlon

Carol Finsrud (GOLD) 4,492 pts.

M65 Throwing Pentathlon

George Mathews (BRONZE) 4,608 pts.

August 8

W40 Marathon

Lorna Thomson (BRONZE) 3:05:23.00

W50 Marathon

Elena Shemyakina (BRONZE) 3:13:31.00

M80 2000 m Steeplechase

Gunnar Linde (GOLD) 11:23.34

W70 4 x 100 m

Team USA (SILVER) 1:22.92

W45 4 x 100 m

Team USA (BRONZE) 51.87

W40 2000 m Steeplechase

Lisa Valle (GOLD) 7:01.91

M55 4 x 100 m

Team USA (BRONZE) 50.96

M50 4 x 100 m

Team USA (GOLD) 45.82

M45 4 x 100 m

Team USA (GOLD) 45.22

M40 4 x 100 m

Team USA (SILVER) 43.93

M55 3000 m Steeplechase

James Robinson (BRONZE) 11:07.75

W70 4 x 400 m

Team USA (GOLD) 7:15.40

W40 4 x 400 m

Team USA (BRONZE) 4:12.67

W35 4 x 400 m

Team USA (GOLD) 3:53.80

M50 4 x 400 m

Team USA (GOLD) 3:38.16

M45 4 x 400 m

Team USA (SILVER) 3:36.71

M40 4 x 400 m

Team USA (GOLD) 3:23.44 

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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