North Shields runner, 83, brings back medal haul from World Masters Athletics Championships

Kath Stewart is back in training
Kath Stewart said she was "proud" after winning three gold medals and a silver at The World Masters Athletics Championships. Credit: ITV TYNE TEES

An 83-year-old world record holder has picked up three gold medals and a silver at The World Masters Athletics Championships.

Kath Stewart, from North Shields, told ITV News Tyne Tees she is "very proud" following the event in Poland last month.

Competing in the over-80s category, Ms Stewart won gold in the 400 metres, 200 metre relay and 200 metre mixed relay, as well as a silver medal in the 200 metres.

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Ms Stewart, who started running competitively in her late 40s and trains five days a week, said: "I am very proud. It was wonderful having competition from every country. There were a lot of Americans, Germans. Every nationality.

"You don't run to win, although I am very competitive. You run to be amongst other people and try to beat them but as long as you've done your best that's fair enough.”

Ms Stewart has been racing in international events for more than 20 years and is trained by her husband Ron at North Shields Polytechnic Club.

One of Kath Stewart's gold medals from the event in Poland. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

“She's treated exactly the same as the other athletes," he said. "I was more proud of her silver than her golds. Her silver medal was a really hard-fought event. It showed she has a never give up attitude.”

Running brought the couple together after they met at a marathon 40 years ago. Mr Stewart encouraged his wife to take up the sport competitively after seeing how talented she was. 

She specialises in the 400 metres and still holds the world indoor record for the event in the over-80s category.

She sets herself a tough regime to stay at the top and trains five days a week, including gym work and pilates.

“I'm quite strict with myself because of my age," she said. "I do a lot of stretching in the evenings, so I've really set myself quite a strict regime.”

Her next international event will be the European Masters Athletics championships, which take place in Italy in September.

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