Canada’s Karla Del Grande sets two world records at masters meet

Canada's Karla Del Grande sets two world records at masters meet

At the 2023 World Masters Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, Toronto sprinter Karla Del Grande broke two women’s 70+ age-group world records to earn two gold medals for Team Canada.

World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships
Karla Del Grande and Wendy Alexis win gold and silver in the W60 60m final at the 2017 World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships. Photo: Doug Smith

Del Grande celebrated her 70th birthday on March 27 in stunning fashion, setting a world record in the 200m and 400m. She smashed the W70+ 400m record by six seconds, running a time of 1:11.34 (a blistering speed of 20km/h). The previous record of 1:17.74 was set by Riet Jonkers-Slegers of the Netherlands in 2013.

Two days later (at the same meet), she broke the W70+ 200m world record of 31.86 seconds, clocking a speedy 31.86 seconds in the heats. The record she broke was held by American Kathy Bergen and stood for 11 years. Del Grande also set a Canadian W70 masters record in the 60m, running 9.29 seconds.

Despite winning a few medals and breaking course records, Del Grande described her experience at the 2023 WMA Indoor Championships as ‘incredible.’ “I always have great pride in representing Canada,” she said. “The support I received from Canadian Masters Athletics and my Variety Village team makes everything possible.”

World Masters record
Del Grande showing off her gold and silver medals from the 2023 WMA Indoor Championships. Photo: Karla Del Grande/Facebook

Del Grande has had a lot of success at the masters level. She began competing in 2002 (when she was 49) and has held numerous Canadian records in the sprints in various age categories across indoor and outdoor competitions. She has been named the Ontario Masters Athletics’ Female Masters Athlete of the Year an incredible 12 times and was named World Masters Athlete of the Decade between 2010-2020.

This is Del Grande’s sixth world age-group record indoors.

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