Day 359: 29 February

Titaua Juventin-Maurin – who receives life membership – has been a member of the OAA Council since 2009 and has held the position of Treasurer of the Association since 2015. During that time Titaua was also a Member Federation President (2001 until 2020).  She was and continues to be an active Coach and Technical Official at the Member Federation and Area Association level.

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Day 358: 28 February

Emma Maria Mazzenga of Italy is etching her name in track and field history at the age of 91. Competing in the W90+ category at a Masters event in Veneto, Italy last weekend, she clocked an incredible 54.47 seconds for 200m indoors, shattering the world record by five seconds.

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Day 357: 27 February

Portugal’s Susana Feitor always believed she would win a World Championships medal; she just had to wait 15 years to make it happen.

Her moment in the sun came in Helsinki in 2005 when even then she had to come from a long way back to win bronze in the 20km walk.

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Day 356: 26 February

Berhane Adere got her first ever glimpse of an indoor track when she arrived at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart on the afternoon of 3 February 2002. The 28-year-old Ethiopian received an invitation to make her debut on the boards in the 3000m at the Sparkassen Cup meeting just five days previously. She arrived the night before, thoughts of a barrier-breaking performance far from her mind.

Adere’s prime concern was how to negotiate 15 laps of the tightly-banked 200m track as part of a 16-strong field. Her manager, Volker Wagner, told her to make straight for the spot behind the pacemakers, leaving the potential danger of the pack behind. It was only when the leaders passed 1km in 2:50 that her thoughts turned towards the 8:32.88 that Gabriela Szabo had clocked in Birmingham twelve months previously.

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Day 355: 25 February

In the Swedish town of Vaxjo, 10-year-old Carolina Kluft was starting to dream about making a sporting mark of her own, possibly as a footballer.

Her father, Johnny Kluft, had been a striker with the Vaxjo club Osters IF. In 1973 he scored a goal against a Feyenoord team featuring Wim van Hanegem and Wim Jansen, members of the great Dutch side that reached the 1974 World Cup final, in a Uefa Cup first-round tie at the hallowed De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam.

Exactly a decade on from Dan O’Brien’s combined events tour de force in Toronto, on 14 March 2003, Kluft produced one of her own, breezing to pentathlon gold at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, just 58 points shy of a world record points tally.

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Day 354: 24 February

In 1961, in a council flat in north London, a baby was crying.

Day after day, night after night, those cries, though weakening, did not stop.

Eventually, having seen nobody come or go from that flat, or heard any attempts to soothe the infant, a neighbour called the police. Inside, a three-month-old child was found alone; hungry, dirty, and desperately ill.

"I was abandoned, some would say left to die," says Fatima Whitbread.

You may know Whitbread as the javelin thrower - an Olympic medallist, world champion and former world record holder.

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Day 353: 23 February

Sprinter Ewa Swoboda is bang on target for her first global senior medal at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 next month. And the Pole, No.2 in the world this year over 60m, is sure to be well supported at the Scottish venue on 1-3 March.

Not only is it the same arena in which she won European Indoor Championships 60m gold in 2019, but she also has strong family ties nearby.

“It’s a big event for me,” she says. “I want to win a medal and a PB.

“I like Glasgow. It’s also close to where my brother lives in Edinburgh.”

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Day 352: 22 February

By Lilly-Ann O’Hora

This month we are showcasing the NACAC Gender Leadership Commission.

“Leadership means bringing people together in pursuit of a common cause, developing a plan to achieve it, and staying with it until the goal is achieved” (William J Clinton), which is the mission of the NACAC Gender Leadership Commission.

NACAC consists of multi-national federations within Northern America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Together, they have formed the Gender Leadership Commission chaired by Donna Raynor of Bermuda (World Athletics Council member), including members Cydonie Mothersille of Cayman Islands (World Athletics Council member, NACAC Vice President and CAY General Secretary), Edith Skippings of Turks and Caicos (President of the Turks and Caicos Amateur Athletic Association, and on the NACAC Council) and Gloria Ramos of El Salvador (President of Federation and on the NACAC Council). There are 2 other members who joined the commission later, Stephanie Russ-Penn (General Secretary IVB) and Jonathan Emmanuel (St. Lucia). The commission has a breadth of experience across leadership, administration and coaching.

Read more via the Empowering Women in Athletics group on Facebook

Day 351: 21 February

New Zealand athletics icon Dame Valerie Adams has been elected as World Athletics Athletes’ Commission chair following the first meeting of its membership this week.

The double Olympic shot put gold medallist and eight time world champion (four outdoors and four indoors) is serving her third term on the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission. In 2019 she was elected as deputy chair.

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Day 350: 20 February

Yvette Williams’ mother, Winnie, was the highland dancing champion of New Zealand. Her father, Tom, was a grenade-throwing champion in the Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front in the First World War.

The doting parents were watching proudly from the main stand of the Childers Road Stadium in Gisborne – near the spot where the British explorer Captain James Cook first landed on New Zealand soil – when Yvette exploded off the take-off board and landed herself in track and field’s world record book.

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Day 349: 19 February

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Day 348: 18 February

Split Times | Paula Radcliffe and Sifan Hassan

The distance running stars discuss role models, rivals, winning secrets and TikTok.

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Day 347: 17 February

On the Instagram biography of Julien Alfred, there are three lines. The first says ‘Athlete’. The second is the flag of Saint Lucia, while the third says ‘Romans 8:18’ – a verse from the bible that states our “present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Julien Alfred of St Lucia


At the age of 22, Alfred has already experienced her fair share of suffering, and indeed glory.

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Day 346: 16 February

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone | My great World Championships moment

How a young runner who didn't like the 400 metres came to set a huge 400m hurdles world record. The world champion explains all.

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Day 345: 15 February

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Day 344: 14 February

Yvonne Murray-Mooney will take her seat for three days of stellar track and field action at the World Indoors 2024 with her interest sharpened by her own superb career.

And, come the Sunday afternoon, with Laura Muir among the medal hopes in the Women’s 3000m final, the Emirates Arena will suddenly become an athletics Tardis for Yvonne.

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Day 343: 13 February

Ingrid Kristiansen remains the only athlete to simultaneously hold the world records at 5000m, 10,000m and the marathon. In 1985, she became the first woman to break the 31-minute barrier for 10,000m on the track and, one year later, returned to her homeland for a successful attempt at taking down her own world record.

Here she remembers that 10,000m record run…

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Day 342: 12 February

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Day 341: 11 February

One reigning world champion. One world leader. One rising star.

Never before in the history of Australian athletics have two athletes presented with such strong credentials to claim the top spot in one discipline at a World Championships. With a potent combination of equal Australian record holders Eleanor Patterson and Nicola Olyslagers, along with teenager Erin Shaw, Australia is gearing up for an assault to defend the coveted Women’s High Jump title.

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Day 340: 10 February

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Day 339: 9 February

World champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson are beginning to reap the rewards for their brilliance on the track in 2022. On October 12, they were both included in the World Athletics list of the ten best female athletes of the year, and on National Heroes Day, in Jamaica, they both received high honours from a grateful nation.

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Day 338: 8 February

If inspiration is what you are seeking, look no further than Sue Hunter.

The 43-year-old mum-of-three has put behind her an appalling lifestyle in her younger days to make her New Zealand debut earlier this month at the IAU 24H World Championships in Chinese Taipei to prove anything is possible.

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Day 337: 7 February

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Day 336: 6 February

With 250m remaining of the women’s 5000m final at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, Faith Kipyegon had a trio of distinguished rivals hot on her heels: Olympic champion Sifan Hassan, defending world champion Gudaf Tsegay, and world cross country champion Beatrice Chebet.

The heels belonged to the bright pink running spikes Kipyegon has now graciously chosen to donate to the Museum of World Athletics (MOWA) in recognition of the historic double accomplished by the Kenyan phenomenon with her formidable finish in the gripping 12-and-a-half lap final.

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Day 335: 5 February

Under normal circumstances, Courtney Dauwalter securing her second victory at the classic Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) race at the beginning of September would have been noteworthy enough on its own. Placed in the context of her year, however, the achievement becomes truly remarkable.

This was the American’s third 100-mile event in 10 weeks and her third victory. To top it off, two of those wins came about thanks to course record breaking performances.

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Day 334: 4 February

World medallist Yemi Mary John has been named as the winner of the 2023 SportsAid One-To-Watch award.

John has enjoyed a breakthrough year in the sport as she won her first major medals at senior level.

Over the past two seasons, she has won 400m silver at the European U20 Championships before being crowned world U20 champion in 2022. In 2023, she added European U23 400m gold to her collection after a stunning run in Espoo, setting a PB of 51.04, and beating Olympic 800m silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson in the process.

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Day 333: 3 February

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Day 332: 2 February

To finish off our leadership theme we are pleased to showcase Annette Purvis:

Annette is a current World Athletics Development Commission and Gender Taskforce Member. Annette was the Chair of Athletics New Zealand for 11 years and is now a Life Member. Annette has a lifelong love of athletics, she started competing at school and continued through into Masters. While Annette no longer competes, she remains actively involved in many aspects of athletics.

Read more via the Empowering Women in Athletics group on Facebook

Day 331: 1 February

Olympic bronze medallist Marlene Mathews AO and esteemed official Patricia ‘Trish’ Kinnane have been elevated to Life Governors, while Queensland senior official Helen Roberts is celebrated as a Life Member,  following the 2023 Athletics Australia Annual General Meeting.

Mathews and Kinnane become the 50th and 51st Life Governors of the organisation – an honour bestowed upon individuals who have displayed outstanding service to Athletics Australia and the greater sport.

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