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ATHLETICS: Blatchford to fly the flag in Brazil
NOEL Blatchford will be Great Britain’s only woman competing at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Brazil.
The Abingdon AC race-walk specialist joins five men in Britain’s team for the event in Porto Alegre.
Blatchford, 65, competes in the vet 65-69 category over distances of 5k, 10k and 20k on October 19 (Sat), 22 and 26 respectively.
Having won gold or silver medals at European indoor and outdoor championships, Blatchford is making her global debut.
She said: “This is my first competition on the other side of the big pond and I will have to compete with the best, so I am a little nervous.
“The stiffest competition in my age category should come from an Australian and a South African.
“Two races have 20 competitors in my category, while the 20k has ten.
“The championships take place over two weeks, with every athletics discipline involved, and competitors in age categories from 35 to the 90s.”
THE Abingdon Marathon is the focus of Oxfordshire’s athletics scene this weekend, with more than 1,000 runners down to take part.
There is likely to be a new ladies’ champion, with neither the 2011 or 2012 winners, Sophie Carter (Woodstock Harriers) and Liz Hartney (Reading), having entered.
Abingdon’s Paul Fernandez, the defending men’s champion, may run, but does not expect to challenge for a second title.
He said: “Unfortunately due to injury and illness, I will not be running at the front.
“I was contemplating doing it in fancy dress for another world record, but probably won't as I still do not feel properly fit.”
The race gets under way at 9am, with the start and finish at Tilsley Park.
See next week’s Oxford Mail for full coverage.
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