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Freeman Cebu Sports

First Centenarian Grandmaster dies

SPORTS EYE - Raffy Uytiepo - The Freeman

Yuri Averbakh the Russian grandmaster who was among the world’s best players for a decade, died recently in Moscow at age 100, the first grandmaster to reach that age.   Averbakh took part in the Candidates Tournament in Zurich in 1953 with the fields bannered by great players including future world champions Vasily Smyslov and Tigran Petstrosian and former world champion Max Euwe.  He learned to play chess at age 7 but was not interested in the game at first.   He grew to 6’2” and preferred volleyball, hockey, skiing and boxing.  After hearing Nikolay Grigoriev in a lecture, he started to be interested in chess.  He became a Master in year the 1944 and a grandmaster in 1958.  In 1955, Mikhail Botvinnik who was the world champion , recruited Averbakh to play training games with him.  In 1982, Smyslov then 61, asked Averbakh to be his trainer for the Candidates Matches .  He won his quarterfinal and semifinal matches before losing the final to future world champion Garry Kasparov. 

Oldies but goodies

LESTER WRIGHT of Long Beach, New Jersey defeated  80 year old runners by clocking 26 seconds in the 2022 and Penn Relays.  The 100-year old runner finished seventh of nine competitors.  In 1930, Wright ran track for Long Beach High School.  He went to Europe with the Army during World War II and even participated in the infamous Battle of the Bulge, after the war, he opened an African- American owned dental lab.  The next oldest runner was 92.  Bob Williamson 84, won in 17:33

COLEEN MILLIMAN, 95  set a 95 - plus age group world record in the mile (13:46:13) in the Masters Hayward Classic at Oregon Hayward Field.  In 2017, she won the 90+(800m) 5:44:50, one minute of the previous mark.  Her mile record is her third (90+ age group world records in the 800m and mile).

Emily Sisson

Ran in 67:11 to break the American record in the half marathon at the U.S Half Marathon Championship.  The 10,000m has long targeted the  American half marathon record and came close in breaking it in Houston in 2019, running 67:30 to miss the record by five seconds.  In Valencia, Spain, the next year, she ran 67.26 to miss the mark by one second. ( Sara Hall lowered the record from 67:25 to 67:15).  The current world record  of 62:52 is held by Letesenbet Gidey while, the American record is 67:25 set by Molley Huddle in 2018.  Kenyan Leonard Korir was the mens champion annexing his third US half marathon title after also winning in 2017 and 2019.

Obiena breaks Sea Games record

Pole vaulter EJ Obiena, who once figured in a big fight with the Philippine Track and Field Association (PATAFA) over delayed payments to is coach, easily registered 5.46 meters to win the gold in the pole vault of the ongoing Sea Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.  Obiena also set a new Games record, passing his previous best of 5.45m. He vaulted 5:40m in his first attempt to annex the gold. Compatriot Hokket Delos Santos won the silver for a 1-2 finish for the Filipnos.

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