Nonagenarian set to clean up at masters

Only competitor in age group

JAMIE SEARLE
Last updated 05:00 01/03/2014
Tauranga athlete Pauline Purser
GOLD MEDALLIST: Tauranga athlete Pauline Purser, 91, at her motel before competing at the New Zealand Masters Track and Field Championships at Surrey Park in Invercargill yesterday.

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Ninety-one-year-old Pauline Purser is a fan of blue cod.

The seafood was the first meal the Tauranga athlete had after arriving in Invercargill on Thursday for the New Zealand Masters Track and Field Championships. Competition started at Surrey Park yesterday and finishes on Monday.

Purser is the oldest competitor and because there is no other entry in her age group, she will win gold medals in the hammer, javelin, discus, shot put and heavyweight.

She has had no opposition in most of her events at Masters in recent years.

"That's why I get gold medals . . . I'm the only one," Purser said.

She collected five golds at the New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin last month. The sprightly nonagenarian reckoned she had about 300 medals on a weakening hall stand in her home.

Purser enjoys travelling throughout the country to compete.

"I love competition when I get competition. You meet lovely people . . . people from Australia and the US." Like many Masters athletes, Purser was encouraged into the sport by a competing friend.

The weight of the discus and the size of the shot at Masters vary depending on age group.

jamie.searle@stl.co.nz

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