Athletes prove age is no barrier

SOME of the athletes competing at this year’s Oceania Masters Athletics Championships can run rings around competitors half their age.

Athletes from across the world have descended on Bendigo.

At 90-years young, Max McKay is one of the most decorated athletes competing at the games.

For the past 78 years, McKay who lives in Dapto near Wollongong, has been competing in athletic events.

On Monday, McKay smashed the Oceania record in the hammer throw by 11.66 metres.

The previous record of 6.70 metres was held by Frank Cox since 2002. 

He also broke the shot put record with a throw of 5.42 metres.

The previous record was 3.05 metres.

McKay said he just loves to compete.

“I don’t train too much at all, I do it for fun,” he said.  

“I used to be a middle distance runner, a sprinter and I have competed in decathlons.

“Now I only do jumps and throws.”

McKay was the foundation director of the Bendigo College of Advanced Education.

He lived in Bendigo for 13 years.  

“Before I retired which was at the end of 1988 I negotiated with La Trobe University to incorporate Bendigo college,” McKay said.  

One of McKay’s six daughters, Robyn Falls said the entire family was proud of his achievements.

“He just wants to be involved in athletics, not because he wants to win just because he loves it,” she said.

Melbourne man Jim Sinclair is also one of the oldest athletes competing in Bendigo.

Described by his friends as a 'legend', the 89-year-old won a gold medal in the 60 metre dash, 85-90 category.

Sinclair began running in 1981 after a successful wrestling career.

“My father, myself and my son have all been national wrestling champions,” he said.

Sinclair says he loves competing.  

“Athletics is a terrific sport to belong to," he said. 

"It is a friendly sport and it doesn’t matter if you win lose or draw, you just have a great time." 

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