Bruce Solomon is 55, and that’s considered youthful for his upcoming competition.
South African born and raised but now resident of Papamoa, Solomon is off to the World Masters Athletics Championships in Malaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol to compete among a 41-strong field in the men’s 55 to 59 years decathlon.
“The younger you are in your division, the better your chances,” he says.
He thinks that on current personal bests – his is 5872 points – he’d rank about 15th in the field.
“But my goal at these championships is to crack 6000 points and make the top eight,” he says.
The top ranked decathlete in his age group will be 1984 Olympian Angel Diaz of Guatemala, who set the world record last year at 8031 points.
Solomon was an athlete in his youth. Till the age of 25 he competed regularly as a sprinter in South Africa and was a provincial representative from his home town of East London. But the demands of a job overtook his sport.
Arriving in New Zealand a decade ago, he decided it was time to get active again and took up track and field once more, joining the Tauranga Ramblers in the 2011-12 season.
One thing led to another and his versatility across the various athletic disciplines brought him to the 10-event decathlon