The CNMI’s Nick Gross struck gold in the 20th Oceania Masters Athletics Championships yesterday in Queensland, Australia.
Gross competed in the men’s 40 to 44 javelin throw event at the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex and stood out against five Australian athletes. He submitted 49.99 meters to beat the host’s Rene Doel for the gold medal, as the latter recorded only 49.11m. Euan McClean completed the podium finish with his 43.16m, while Jamie Muscat (34.34m), Rob Pickering (35.05m), and Shaun Peel (28.15) rounded out the competitors list in the division.
Gross’ mark was the best in the entire javelin throw competition, which featured nearly 60 athletes from the 30 to 88 age group. In the men’s 30 to 34, gold medalist Steven Cragg had only 42.19m, while men’s 35 to 39 winner Norman Turner tallied 38.23m, and 45 to 49 champion Richard Harris posted 35.32. Kevin Galea (50 to 54 winner) registered 41.49m; Dave Varley (55 to 59) recorded 44.43m; Marek Chomow (60 to 64) had 34.89m; Lyle Daniel (65 to 69) submitted 37.11m); Bob Banens (70 to 74) logged 35.02m; Arniel Delaite (75 to 79) listed 31.67m; Allan Wood (80 to 84) tallied 20.07m; and Jim Blair (over 85) delivered 21.60m).
Meanwhile, the 2021 Oceania Area Championships will be held in Vanuatu in May.
Oceania Athletics Association president Geoff Gardner made the announcement about the selection of the host for the regional competition late last month and has expressed confidence with the island’s ability to hold a successful competition.
It will be Vanuatu’s second time to host the biennial event with the first one in 2001 at the Korman Stadium in Port Vila. The island-nation also had the 2017 Pacific Mini Games and the 2018 Melanesian Regional Championships in its turf.
The area championship will be a good warm-up for the Pacific Mini Games, which will come to the CNMI for the first time. Last year’s Oceania Area Championships took place in Townsville, Australia with a record-number of participants—725 athletes and 120 and 110 technical and team officials, respectively.