Masters Games action begins

AFTER many months planning and training, the Oceania Masters athletics championships start on Saturday in Bendigo.

Athletes from 10 countries have made their way to Bendigo to compete on the all-purpose athletic track, on the streets, or at Bendigo Jockey Club.

The nine-day championships will involve all track and field disciplines, a 10km walk, an 8km cross-country run, and a half-marathon.

Versatility will be on show on across the first two days of track competition at the La Trobe University Bendigo athletics complex in Flora Hill.

The decathlon, heptathlon and pentathlon titles for a wide range of age groups will be decided.

The 10-discipline decathlon and seven-event pentathlon will be decided.

First events are at 10am on Saturday and Sunday at the Retreat Road venue.

At 85-years-young, Australia's Rad Leovic will contest the decathlon for the 85-89 age group.

Leovic's campaign begins with the 100m dash and is followed by long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400m.

After a well-earned rest, Leovic returns to track for Sunday's finale. He will contest 80m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m.

The Masters pentathlons will be run on Wednesday and Thursday at LUBAC.

It's not just the Masters taking to the track this weekend.

The Victorian junior multi-event titles for the under-20, under-18, under-16 and under-14 boys and girls will be up for grabs.

Sunday's walks start at 8.30am and will wind their way around Rosalind Park near the heart of the city.

Australia and New Zealand are fielding the biggest teams at the Oceania Masters.

Many Bendigo-based athletes will be aiming to capitalise on home-track advantage against athletes from Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Czech Republic and the United States.

Starting times for the track and field program vary between 7.30am and 8.30am each day.

Wednesday's cross-country run starts at 9.30am at Bendigo Jockey Club.

The Games finale is the 21.1km half-marathon passing many of the city's landmarks on January 12. 

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