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Third place dismay for current 1,500m champ; hot conditions leave athlete with bronze.

Byline: INSIDETRACK Athletics news with BILL MCGUIRK

GUY BRACKEN was crowned World Masters' over-55 1,500 metres champion but he was still a disappointed man.

The North Shields Poly athlete went into the Malaga Championships as the one to beat in both the 5,000m and 1,500m but, in extreme hot conditions, he had to settle for third place in the longer event much to his dismay.

"Having to settle for a bronze medal was a huge anti-climax as, on paper anyway, I was the fastest in the field,'' said Bracken, who is the current World Masters' 1,500m and 3,000m Indoor champion.

"Looking back on the race I probably employed the wrong tactics in the extreme heat as I led for most of the way until the final two laps when two of my rivals, who had shadowed me every step of the way, managed to break away and I couldn't respond, eventually having to settle for third place.

"I've ran over half-a-minute quicker this season so, while times are not really that important in championships, it shows I could, and should have done better.

Looking the race I employed wrong the extreme Guy "In fact, 16min 33secs is the slowest I've run this year so, on reflection, it wasn't the result I was hoping for.'' However, two days after that setback, Bracken was back on the track lining up in the heats of the metric mile where he coasted to victory in the day's quickest time.

With renewed confidence he wasn't going to settle for a minor medal when he returned to the stadium 24 hours later for the final.

"It was really hot once again, conditions I don't really like, but I thought well, it's the same for everyone, let's get on with it,'' added Bracken.

"The race turned out entirely differently to the 5,000m with a Canadian athlete (Geoffrey Peat) racing away from the gun.

"By halfway he had a lead of around 50 metres as I settled at the rear of the field.

"As the race progressed the chasing group wasn't making any headway, so I worked my way through to give chase.

"At the bell the leader still led by 25 metres, but I sensed that I was closing on him and as we entered the home straight for the final time I managed move up a gear to ease past him with around 50 metres to go.

"That was a great feeling crossing the line in first place, and it certainly helped to make up for the 5,000m disappointment.

back on probably the tactics in heat Bracken "To come away from Spain with a gold and silver medal is no mean feat, but on the other hand I think a double gold escaped me this time round!'' Bracken, meanwhile, wasn't the only North Shields Poly athlete to return with a gold gong from Malaga. Kath Stewart won the over-75 section 400 metres, winning in a season's best of 88.11secs. That performance came after she finished fourth in the 200m and fifth in the 800m.

While it was another gold medal to add to her collection, husband Ron was less fortunate, coming up against an eagle-eyed official who decided to disqualify him in the 5,000m walk!

place. half-a-minute quicker times are not in championships, icould, done it I setback, was lining the metric coasted to victory time. confidence he wasn't "That was a great line in first place, helped to make 5,000m "To Spain silver mean other think e s me t i round!'' wasn't Shields Poly with a gold gong Kath Stewart won the 400 metres, winning Looking back on the race I probably employed the wrong tactics in the extreme heat Guy Bracken

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Guy Bracken celebrates as he comes home to take the World Masters' 1,500 metres title in Malaga
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Sep 19, 2018
Words:648
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