Canadian Masters Athletes of the Month – March 2023

Congratulations to Karla Del Grande and Johanna Flipsen, who are CMA’s co-winners of Athlete of the Month for March, 2023!

Karla Del Grande turned 70 years old the day before her first race at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, and exited the meet with two world records (WR), and a gold and silver medal.  Running in the W65-69 category because of her age on the first day of the meet, Karla blazed to a 1:11.34 in her preliminary round of the 400m, which lowered the W70 WR by several seconds.  Two days later, Karla sprinted to a 9.29s Canadian 60m record and a silver medal in the 60m finals, just 0.08s over the W70 WR. The next day, she set a new W70 WR in the 200m preliminaries of 31.65s, only to lower it to 31.18s in a hard-fought final, winning gold.  Karla resides in Toronto, Ontario, and is coached by Jamal Miller.

Photo credit Doug Shaggy Smith (shaggysphotos.com)

Johanna Flipsen, age 68, demonstrated a masterclass in race walking (RW) speed and form at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, winning both individual gold medals in race walk. In the 3000m RW on the track, she finished about 90s clear of the next W65 competitor. The 10k road RW started all 55+ women together; Johanna finished not only ahead of the next W65-69 racer by 6 minutes, but also before all 60-64 women.  Johanna ended the 2023 season ranked first in the world in the W65-69 1500m (track) and 3000m (track) race walks; rankings are not available for the 10k road. Johanna resides in Edmonton and is coached by Dave Keenan. 

Photo credit Cesar Arciba

Honorable Mentions

Jackson Hinton, age 41, executed a brilliant 60m hurdles race at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, winning the gold in 8.15s.  His world ranking for 2023 indoors ended 0.35s ahead of second best, which is a sizable gap for such a short race.  Jackson lives in Edmonton, Alberta and is self-coached.

Christopher Warburton, age 57, performed exceptionally well in his 200m on March 31 at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland. Qualifying out of 11 heats of M55 into the semi-finals with a season’s best 24.50s, he ran the second fastest M55 60m in the world in 2023 with 24.05s, which is a Canadian record. Although he slowed to a 24.20s in the final for a silver medal, his 24.05s is simply outstanding.  Christopher also won gold in the 60m in 7.54s, and combined with Chris Lemassif, Marc Skeete, and Yannick Le Mouël to bring home the silver medal in the M55 4x200m relay in a Canadian record time of 1:40.74. Christopher lives in Toronto and is coached by Jamal Miller.

Maria Zambrano, age 52, ran an outstanding time and new Canadian indoor record in the 3000m at the Alberta Indoor Championships in Edmonton on March 4. Her time of 10:10.06 placed her second in the world this year, and 35s faster than the W50 winner of the 3000m in the WMA Championships in Torun. Maria lives in Calgary and is coached by Alex Ulaszonek.

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