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9 masters compete in Ocean champs

Thursday 2 February 2012 | Published in Regional


Nine Cook Islands masters athletes are on their way to New Zealand to bag medals at the Oceania Masters Athletics Championships in Tauranga.

The group is one of the smallest groups to represent the country but they are still expected to do well in their chosen track and field events.

Athlete David Lobb says that while he is expecting the group to do well – he doesn’t think the team’s medal haul will be as big as previous years due to the small group number.

In 2008, a team of nine Cook Islands athletes returned from the Oceania Champs held in Townsville Australia with 20 medals – the same number of medals Lobb is hoping the current team will bring home.

The Cooks’ biggest medal haul at the masters event was in 2010 when a group of 20 athletes returned from the event hosted by Tahiti with 60 medals.

This year’s team includes Lobb, Paul Allsworth, Ake Hosea-Winterflood, Terai Hill, Tamarua Herrmann, Jennie George, Steve Whitta, Geoff Stoddart and Bernadette Raffe.

Lobb says that each athlete will compete in up to six different events at the week-long champs that will run from February 5 to 12.

As well as competing and reporting back on the team’s progress – Lobb will also represent Athletics Cook Islands at the annual meeting of the masters athletics movement to confirm the Cook Islands as the host of the champs in 2015.

In 2014 – Bendingo, a city outside Melbourne, Australia, will host the masters champs.

Lobb says the local athletes are prepared for the champs starting this weekend after weeks of regular mini competitions at the BCI Stadium.

He says that recent gatherings of the local masters athletes have generated some impressive results which he hopes can be improved on during the masters champs in New Zealand.