The curtain comes down on a record World Masters Athletics Championships

The relay was one of the final events of the championships on Sunday.
The relay was one of the final events of the championships on Sunday. / Francis Silva
  • Team GB pipped a record Spanish team to the top of the leaderboard by one silver medal

Anyone in Malaga or Torremolinos during the World Masters Athletics Championships will have witnessed the frenetic coming and going of more than eight thousands athletes over the last two weeks.

The championships, with athletes ranging from 35 to 102 years of age, concluded on Sunday and has proven to be the biggest of the past decade, with a total of 22,000 people arriving in the province from all four corners of the globe.

Not only was it a record for total attendance, but also for the size of the Spanish contingent with around 1,700 people taking part, of which 237 were from Malaga province.

The medal haul, too, was a record, with a total of 204, but in the end it wasn't enough to top the final classifications.

Eighty gold medals

Great Britain and Northern Ireland topped the overall rankings with a total of 203 medals - eighty gold, 66 silver and 57 bronze. Despite getting one fewer overall than Spain (204; eighty gold, 65 silver, 59 bronze), Team GB's extra silver counted in their favour.

Germany, who recorded even more medals overall (216), only finished in third by virtue of their 74 golds.

Staying in Malaga

Of Spain's total medal haul, 16 of them will remain in Malaga. Eleven golds were picked up in individual disciplines by Lysvanys Pérez (high and long jump 35+), Javier Díaz Carretero (cross country 40+), Ola Carlsson (high jump 40+) and Óscar González (decathlon 40+); and team disciplines by Díaz Carretero (cross country 40+), Agustín Molina (cross country 50+), Paz González and Antonia García (cross country 55+), Rafa Martín (20 km. walk 45+), Kiko Rodríguez (20 km. walk 35+) and Antonio Camaño (10 and 20 km. walk 35+).

There was a team silver for Susana Pérez and Adela Martínez (10 km. walk 35+), plus individual bronzes for Agustín Molina (cross country 50+), Lorena Aguilar (weightlifting 35+) and Rafa Martín (5 km. walk 45+), and a team bronze for Jannine Lima (cross country 35+).

A championship to remember

Of the more than a hundred competing nations, 73 of them came away with at least one medal to show for their efforts.

World records were broken left right and centre, perhaps most impressively by Man Kaur and Giuseppe Ottaviani, both 102. But whether or not athletes took home medals, they will take back memories of an inclusive tournament, as well the welcome they received in Malaga, back to their own respectives corner of the world.