The very first World Masters Athletics Championships took place in Toronto in 1975. Since then, the Championships have been hosted by 18 different nations and 23 cities world-wide.

  • 1975 – Toronto
  • 1977 – Gottenburg, Sweden
  • 1979 – Hannover, Germany
  • 1981 – Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1983 – San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1985 – Rome, Italy
  • 1987 – Melbourne, Australia
  • 1989 – Eugene, Oregon
  • 1991 – Turku, Finland
  • 1993 – Miyazaki, Japan
  • 1995 – Buffalo, USA
  • 1997 – Durban, South Africa
  • 1999 – Gateshead, England
  • 2001 – Brisbane, Australia
  • 2003 – Carolina, Puerto Rico
  • 2005 – Donostia, Spain
  • 2007 – Riccione, Italy
  • 2009 – Lahti, Finland
  • 2011 – Sacramento, USA
  • 2013 – Puerto Alegre, Brazil
  • 2015 – Lyon, France
  • 2016 – Perth, Australia
  • 2018 – Malaga, Spain

In Memory of Don Farquharson

Founder of World Masters Athletics

Farquharson was the founder of Masters Athletics in Canada during the 1970s, was president of the organizing committee for the first World Championships in Toronto in 1975, and served as the first president of the World Association of Veterans Athletes on its formation in 1977. He also served on the Ontario Masters Board of Directors for many years from 1981 to his death in 2000. Click here for more.

World Masters Track and Field Championships 1975
Organizing Committee


WAVA – World Association of Veteran Athletes

(changed to World Masters Athletics)

Click On the link to Download the PDF

Click On the link to Download the PDF

Click On the link to Download the PDF

Male athletes who competed at the first World Masters Athletics Championships in 1975,  pictured at the Sacramento World Championships in 2011.

From left to right: Jerry Smartt USA, Derek Howarth UK, Ed Whitlock CAN, Ron Franklin UK, Arthur Walsham UK.

Canadian masters track and field athlete, Ed Whitlock competed in the very first Championships in Toronto in 1975.  He raced in  Cross Country (21st), 800m (5th), 1500m (4th) and the 4X400m Relay (3rd) at the inaugural event. He received the baton as the anchor leg for Team Canada and was the last runner on the track for the meet.

In 2003, Whitlock became the first person over 70 years old to run a marathon in less than three hours with a time of 2:59:10.

Ed passed away in 2017. Rest and peace to a Canadian masters legend.

Irene Obera USA won the Bronze in the 100m (12.5) at the first World Masters Athletics Championships in 1975.

Irene is still competing pictured here at recently at the 2016 USATF Indoor Championships. (photo by Rob Jerome)

Irene has been invited to WMATO2020 as an honourable our guest.

1975 Opening Ceremonies

Ralph Lang is still competing

Cross Country start in Sunnybrook Park

1975 WMA Championship Emblems

© World Masters Athletics Toronto 2020