Judith in awe at the real masters
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
A SWAG of medals is the reward for Judith Etsall and her performances at the Australian Masters Games.
The track and field athlete returned home with a staggering four gold and two silver medals from the seven events she competed in at the Games, held in Adelaide last month.
Etsall has not allowed her achievements in the 65-69 years division to go to her head.
Far from it.
She has actually returned from Adelaide humbled by the efforts of those in age groups much older than hers.
"It was absolutely amazing to see people in the 80-85 age group compete," she said.
"There was one person going around who was 90 years old.
"I've been to the Masters Games for two of the past three years and your bones ache and you wonder why they're doing it."
Etsall collected gold medals in the long jump and high jump as well as the discus and weight throw.
Not a bad result for someone who became hooked on competing again only recently when she entered into the NSW Masters Games that were held in Coffs Harbour.
Etsall fully appreciates the chance she has to compete in athletics again.
"I think back to my mother and she wouldn't ever do this" she admitted.
"I had a 45-year break in athletics before I came to my first Masters Games."
It's unlikely there will be any lengthy break before Etsall competes at this level again as the multiple gold medallist has set herself some goals for the future.
"Next year, the games are in Alice Springs and I don't think I'll get there but I definitely want to go to the Australian Masters Games in two years' time," she said.
"The world games are being held in Sydney in 2009 which is a goal to reach for."