Why Darrin is up with world’s best

Ipswich athlete Darrin Norwood winds up in the hammer throw at the world masters championships in Perth.


ENCOURAGED by a three-medal haul and personal best efforts, Ipswich athlete Darrin Norwood is already looking towards the next world titles.

As one of Australia’s leading masters competitors, the personal trainer knows what it takes to be successful at international competition.

He’s returned from the latest World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth with plenty to build on.

He was delighted to win two silver medals and a bronze at the highest level competition he’s tackled since focusing on events in his 35-39 years age group.

Aged 37, the ambitious Norwood offered an elite athlete’s assessment of his two week campaign.

“It was an event of missed opportunities,” he said.

“I was very happy with what I achieved and I know there’s room for improvement.

“I’m extremely happy to be second best in the world for 35 years throws pentathlon.”

Norwood celebrated that success, having accumulated 3289 points from his five events in that separate competition.

Most pleasing was how he recovered strongly after what he conceded were “below par performances” in his first three events.

“I had to dig deep for the javelin, the weight throw, and it sort of pulled me out of the mud and secured me silver,” he said.

Norwood’s terrific finish in the throws pentathlon came after he competed in four individual throwing events.

He won a silver in the weight throw, collected bronze in the shotput, finished fourth in the javelin and came fifth in the hammer throw.

“The first two days were awesome,” he said, proud of his silver reward from a 95cm personal best in the weight throw.  His 15.30m effort narrowly missed gold.

Although throwing another personal best (43.27m) in the hammer throw, Norwood had to settle for fifth, among a cluster of athletes.

“To be so close was amazing,” he said.

Norwood also reflected on what might have been in the javelin, where his season best 48.09m throw also just missed a medal.

“If I had of hit what I was capable of, I would have been right up there as well,” he said.

His bronze in the shot put (14.59m) capped his individual program.  But again, a foul from a massive throw over 15m denied him gold.

“I overbalanced and couldn’t hold it,” he said.  “I just put a little bit too much effort into that one.”

Norwood only received the all clear to compete in February, following some injury challenges during his two-year preparation for the world event.

The Raceview-based sportsman was also heartened having fared so well against elite athletes from the US, Germany, Czech Republic, India and Cyprus.  His field included ex-Olympians and former Commonwealth Games competitors.

“That was the biggest event I’ve done in my career,” the seasoned national level athlete said.

“If I get the chance to, I will definitely go again.”

The next world masters are in Sweden.

Norwood will return to open (rather than age group) competition in coming months.

He’s already qualified for the shotput at the open nationals in March.