World Masters Championships Kick Off In Sacramento

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jul. 6, 2011
  • Updated Jul. 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM UTC
The U.S. team parades in the opening ceremonies of the World Masters Championships. Photo:

The U.S. team parades in the opening ceremonies of the World Masters Championships. Photo:

Former world-record holder Zola Budd Pieterse will be competing in the games.

On Tuesday evening in Sacramento, California, the World Masters Championships began with the traditional opening ceremonies and parade of athletes.

The top athletes in the world aged 35 and over will be competing in the games. Nearly 5,000 athletes are expected to take part. The United States has the largest contingent with 1,900 participants. With 215 athletes, Canada has the second-largest team.

Featured athletes at the games include former world champion middle-distance runner Zola Budd Pieterse of South Africa. Budd is best known for her unique barefoot training and racing technique. During her career she twice broke the world record in the 5,000m. She also twice won the World Cross-Country Championships.

Along with Budd, Willie Banks, the former world-record holder in the triple jump will be competing. Additionally, Willie Gault, former NFL star who was on the Superbowl-winning Chicago Bears will be present. Gault holds the world record for the 100m in the men’s 50-54 age bracket.

The competition begins today and ends on Sunday, July 17.

For More: News 10

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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