Bendigo athletes Nathan Crolwey and Brett Gilligan have returned from the 2022 World Masters Athletics Championships in Finland with medals to their names. Crowley ran a final time of 1.59.63 to win bronze in the M45 800m.

Crowley, who is a member of the Bendigo University AC, said he was thrilled to have finished on the podium against a field of elite-level international athletes.

“Going through the heat stages of the games was fairly easy, but when it came to the finals it was really tough,” he said.

“The two guys that were in my age group that came first and second finished the race at around 1.56 – they were running very well.

“But for myself to finish just behind them with a sub-two minute time I was absolutely stoked to come home with the bronze medal.”

The hard work wasn’t just on the track in Finland, it began months earlier during the lead up when he was training throughout the Australian summer.
Crowley was clocking up anywhere between 60km-100km of training distance per week spread across several sessions.
Now that the hard work has paid off, he couldn’t be any prouder of himself and can’t wait to do it all again for upcoming athletics leagues at both state and national level, in addition to heading back to Europe early next year for the 2023 World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Poland.

Gilligan, who is coached by Crowley, wrapped up the games with a bronze medal in the M45 hurdles (58.44) and gold in the M45 4 x 100m (45.04) Australian relay team (Mark Harper, Gilligan, Mark Giglio and Brad Krawczyk).

Gilligan, who is a Bendigo Harrier, said it was satisfying to have finished the Masters with two medals.
“I set out to achieve something, worked really bloody hard at it and I’m very satisfied that I was able to accomplish my goal,” he said.
“Huge thanks needs to Nathan. He built me up to an international level athlete.
“He worked me hard, but the results have been worth the effort.”

Gilligan’s highlight was the first-place finish in the M45 4x 100m relay with the team locking in world champion status.
“Overall I won’t say my results were unexpected, but they were certainly a pleasant bonus,” he said.

“The fields were deep and there was no such thing as an easy win or medal as there were a few ex-Olympians in the field.”
As the same for Crowley, Gilligan has set his eyes on competing next year in Poland at the indoor championships.