Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Athletics: Masters medal haul hits 12

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Tauranga's Bruce Solomon won eight medals from eight events at the New Zealand Master Games.
Tauranga's Bruce Solomon won eight medals from eight events at the New Zealand Master Games.

Two Tauranga athletes came home from the New Zealand Masters Games weighed down with medals.

Bruce Solomon and Hector Mein won 12 medals between them in Dunedin at the largest multi-sporting event in New Zealand.

It was the 27th time the famous annual event had been held that alternates between Wanganui and Dunedin.

Solomon competed in the Masters Men 50-54 year category and had a clean sweep of eight gold medals from the eight events he entered. He won the 100m, 200m, 400m, High Jump, Long Jump, Discus, Javelin and Shot Put titles.

His efforts saw him nominated as one of the three athletes for the 2015 NZ Masters Athlete of the Year Sprint Award.

Mein competed in the Masters Men 85-89 year category and won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze.

"The Masters Games are more about fun and competing against athletes who don't compete at the National Masters track and field events, which incidentally will also take place in Dunedin at the same venue from 26-28 February.

The event was well run and enjoyed by all," Solomon said.

The philosophy of the New Zealand Masters Games is to prove age is no barrier to participation. With more than 60 sports to choose from and 300 separate events, the Games have something to suit everyone and this month attracted 6,000 athletes.

The qualifying age varies from sport to sport but generally starts at 30 years and goes up to 95. Competition in most sports is within five-year age groups and some have both competitive and social grades.

People compete for various reasons, whether that is to stand on the podium, improve their personal best, catch up with friends, enjoy the social atmosphere or just prove they can do it.

This event epitomises everything that is good about grassroots sport.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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