Track master

When veteran athlete Neville McIntyre spotted the Black Caviar t-shirt in an airport store, he already had an impressive record on his own track.
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From training on a rural airstrip at Pinkett to competing at the World Masters Athletics Championships, McIntyre had chalked up gold medal winning runs all across the globe.

When he purchased the t-shirt, he said he would wear when he had matched the champion race horses career of 25 races undefeated.

A few years on and McIntyre returned to Glen Innes last week toting six gold medals from the National Masters Athletics Championships in Melbourne and decked out in racing champion black.

“It’s on now,” he said, with gold in hand and Caviar blazoned across his chest.

After topping competitions at country and state level earlier in the year, the Pinkett athlete put in an outstanding performance to clean sweep the competition in a damp four-day national event over Easter.

In a double honour, McIntyre was named the most outstanding athlete at the championships.

“I was thrilled with that,” he said.

Times were not up to the champs expectations over the weekend. Though he came home with gold, he said wet weather took its toll on his running times across the four events.

“The first two days were wet on the track—not good conditions. The last two days were quite good,” he said.

“The times were not quite as good as I would like, but I think under the conditions I suppose you have got to be happy with them.”

McIntyre ran recorded an 8.71 seconds for the 60 metre dash, 13.83 seconds for the 100 metre and 28.45 for the 200 metres stretch. He said when it came to the 400 metre haul, he had to conserve for the coming Champion of Champions.

“We were the second last final in the 400m so I had the least spell,” he said.

“Whether you win or lose you have to make the event.”

Despite making the event, the local competitor was pipped by a fraction of a second.

“I didn’t get the Champion of Champions. That was the one I wanted,” he said.

“I was put out to third place by so many hundredths of a second. That’s happened three years in a row, beaten on the finish line.”

With a handful of new medals to add to an extensive collection, McIntyre said he is looking forward to the next World Masters Championships in Perth 2016, and will be hard in training until then.

“I’m helping train a granddaughter, so that supplies competition and motivation. She’s keeping me honest,” he said.

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