Australian Masters Games

The Games brings the heat on day one

3 October 2015

The Games brings the heat on day one

The first day of the 15th Australian Masters Games is in the books, and there were memorable performances aplenty across the board.

Following an incident yesterday afternoon involving a light aircraft rehearsing for the Games’ parachuting events, the decision was made to progress with competition as scheduled.

Parachuting sports convenor Rob Libeau said it was a decision all concerned believed was the right one.

“We had a competitors meeting last night and it was unanimous that the competition would move forward in the competitive spirit that skydivers have,” said Libeau.

Windy conditions unfortunately halted competition for the day, much to the disappointment of 63-year-old John Friswell, who was on the aircraft yesterday which encountered engine difficulties before making an emergency landing at Victoria Park.

“I was ready to get on the plane today, except it was too windy,” said Friswell.

“I’ve been sky diving for 45 years and that’s the first serious aircraft incident I’ve been involved in.”

“That’s not skydiving. That’s the aircraft.”

The Queenslander is sure to feature in parachuting across the rest of the Games, and feels he has a point to prove.

“I am a little sore but that’s what happens with athletes. I’ve been judged fit by a doctor, and I’m fit to jump. I’m ready to compete,” he said.

“There was no question about me getting back up there,” Friswell stated.

Competition will resume tomorrow pending weather conditions.

Don’t forget: The 15th Australian Masters Games Opening Ceremony kicks off tonight from 7pm at the Airbnb Games Village (Adelaide Convention Centre), featuring the athlete march, VIPs and live entertainment.

Adelaide’s searing spring heat was not enough to stop the 15th Australian Masters Games oldest participant 92-year-old Henry Young on the tennis court.

Up against stiff competition in the singles 80+ category with participants some years his junior, he proved he was still young at heart and able to keep up with his more youthful opponents.

Serving and volleying the ball back to his opponents, Young was unsuccessful in two of his three games, but was able to record a 6-1 win in his second game.

The South Australian is still very much in love with tennis after all his years of playing.

"It’s such a wonderful sport tennis, you get the exercise, you get the camaraderie, you get everything, and of all the sports I think it’s the most companionable,” said Young.

In fencing, New South Wales’ David Wheeler has claimed his first Australian Masters Games gold medal in this morning’s sabre competition, defeating audacious Adelaide sabreur Matteo Barchiesi 15-9 in the final bout.

With just three years experience with sword in hand, compared to the decade long careers of his competitors, the Marrickville resident believes he has found his true calling – having already claimed three gold medals on the veteran’s Australian fencing circuit.

The 40-year-old’s coach first recognised his protégé’s raw potential, and encouraged him to compete in the Australian Open only six months after he began training.

“I went into my first open competition, which is basically the top level in Australia, and finished in the top 16 which is not normally done,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler says his competitive spirit is the driving force behind his quick rise to the top.

“I just love competing… I’m on a mission this year,” he admitted.

Highlights and points of interest for Sunday 4 October:

  •       Kris Apps – 69 years old, swimming

From 9:15am @ SA Aquatic &Leisure Centre, 443 Morphett Road, Oaklands Park

Kris Apps has been in a wheelchair since 1987, but her disability has never stopped her doing what she loves. She has swum in five Australian Masters Games and two World Masters Games, and holds several state records for Tasmania.

  •       Allan Thommeny – 68 years old, archery

From 9:30am @ Saint Ignatius’ College, 2 Manresa Court, Athelstone

The 68-year-old from New South Wales returns to defend his 2013 gold medal in clout archery.

  •       The Great Games + NRL Grand FInal

7pm @ Airbnb Games Village, Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace

Watch the NRL Grand Final, then it’s AMG sport vs sport in this ‘clash of the titans’ when the sport moves from the actual sporting arenas into the village social program. Expect  giant jenga, sumo suits, mini golf and more.

The 15th Australian Masters Games are being held in Adelaide, October 3-10, featuring more than 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world.

The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia.

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