DAVID BURTON was crowned the over-80 pentathlon champion at the recent British Masters Championships in Oxford.
The 80-year-old from Steyning beat the previous championship record points total by more than 400 and his long jump of 3.21m was a UK record in his age category.
The achievement was all the more remarkable for Burton as it was his first competition for five years, after health problems had meant he was unable to compete.
Becoming the new long jump record holder for his age category was the highlight for Burton and he said: “It was fantastic for me to break the current long jump record.
“That was my first event in the pentathlon, so it gave me real confidence for the remainder of the event.
“I am a sprinter, so going into the 200 metres knowing that I have set a new record in the long jump was great.
“It was not something that I was expecting to do going into the event but it was fantastic to do it.
“After breaking the record, I had a number of athletes come up to me and congratulate me on my performance, which is always nice.
“As an athlete, it is great when other people in the sport come and give you praise for an achievement.”
In what proved to be a successful event for Burton, he also set a new points record for the men’s over-80 category.
His performance in the long jump was followed up with a 17.31metre javelin throw, 35.06 seconds in the 200 metres, 18.02 metres in the discus throw and a finishing time of 7min 57sec in the 1,500 metres.
Those performances put together ensured Burton secured a points tally of 2,923 – 400 more than the previous record.
On the record, Burton added: “It was such a great feeling to come away knowing I am the new over-80 record-holder.
“I knew, going into the event, it was not going to be easy and it was not. But I gave it my best shot and, fortunately, I came away with the new record.
“To come back after five years away from the sport was great and to become the new record-holder gave it that extra edge.”
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