Veteran sprinter Tony Bowman breaks M85 200m record

Jacob Moreton
·1-min read
Photo credit: Alex Cousins / SWNS
Photo credit: Alex Cousins / SWNS

85-year-old Yorkshire grandfather Tony Bowman has broken the British M85 200m record.

During a Trafford Athletic Club Open Meeting at Stretford on Saturday, April 10, the veteran sprinter ran a 36.67, shaving four seconds off the age group’s previous record set by Duncan McLean in 1972.

Tony, a member of Leeds City Athletic Club, finished fourth in his 200m heat, while the race was won by 15-year-old Holly Jessop from Stockport.

Tony also ran a 16.58 in his 100m heat, coming second to Debra Casson, although that failed to break the 16.3 record set by McLean in 1973.

While his most successful discipline is the hurdles, having won the M80 60m event at the World Masters in Poland in 2019, Tony competes in a range of events, including long jump, triple jump, and decathlon.

Tony caught the running bug while watching the 1948 Olympics as a teenager. Though he went on to win silver in the sprint hurdles at the 1952 English Schools Championships, he gave up sprinting at age 26, before picking up where he left off at 42, after a long hiatus.

Over the years Tony has always used his own savings and pension to pay for travel to championships.

But this year has not been easy for Tony. A spell of Covid-19 in March brought on atrial fibrillation, which gave him trouble breathing. Though his heart trouble gradually subsided, he sadly lost his wife to the same virus.

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