Croft’s very own Mike Coogan has become the world number one 200m sprinter in the 45 to 50 age group after winning gold at the European Indoor Masters Athletics Championships in Madrid.
Mike, Associate Director at Croft Transport Planning & Design, literally dived over the line with a finishing time of 23.10 to beat runner-up Xavier Bosch Ortiz from Spain by a 100th of a second.
Together with the thrilling victory Mike also finished the indoor season ranked number one in the world in his age group at both 200m and 400m, just ahead of American Jeff Laynes who ran alongside Carl Lewis in the 1990s, running 10 seconds flat.
“I’d been injured on the run-in to the Championships but it turned out well in the end, there was an anxious wait while the judges reviewed the photo finish and I’d have been gutted if I’d come second,” said Mike, who runs for for Tameside and East Cheshire Athletics Club in Ashton Under Lyne.
This is the third time Mike has taken gold in the Championships, previously winning the 400m in 2015 and 2016.
Mike, who was representing Team GB at the Parc De Gallur Indoor Arena in Madrid, not only won his individual event, but also picked up a silver medal as part of the 4 x 200m relay in the male 45 category.
The European Masters Championships are held every two years and are attended by over 4,000 athletes from around Europe. Athletes compete in five-year age bands from 35 onwards.
“I’m in the m45 category, which stands for master aged 45 to 50,” explained Mike. “There’s a broad range from club runners to ex-Olympians and the Championships continuously attract the fastest Masters athletes from across Europe for the sprint events, with over a hundred athletes entered in the 200m.”
Mike trains five times a week, mostly at his club or the Sportcity complex in Manchester near the Etihad stadium, where there is an indoor facility.
Mike added: “Compared to most I took up sprinting very late, only setting foot on a track for the first time four years ago, so there’s every chance I might go quicker yet.”
If any business or person is interested in sponsoring Mike he can be contacted by e-mail here.