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Allan Williams from career threatening
injury to Masters World Pole Vault Champion

Strange as it may seem he is at Returning from Italy he
his best when things stack up was highly motivated to do
against him, with an inbuilt better at The World Masters
stubborn refusal to give in. Championships in October.
Eventually, he did get back to However, another massive
vaulting in summer 2013 and obstacle was waiting for him,
after only a few sessions of as he described:
pole vaulting he competed in Despite our very best
When Allan Williams won his the World Masters Games in
fourth World Championship Italy in August as a 60 year old efforts, we simply could not
Pole Vault title at The World and in a new age group. get anyone to transport my
Masters Championships in vaulting poles to Brazil. That
changed things dramatically
Porto Alegre Brazil in October Although , he said I knew as I knew I would have to
2013, it was without doubt the I was not ready to take on the perform on a pole that was
most satisfying. best in the world, I decided
that I needed to put myself in unfamiliar to me.
The last three years since the the competitive arena again In preparation for this, in
European Championships in with a view to being ready the weeks leading up to
Gent in March 2011 have been to challenge in the World his departure for Brazil he
extremely challenging. Despite Masters Championships in vaulted on as many different
setting a British M55 Indoor October. I managed to pick up poles as he could in order
Record at those Championships a Bronze medal in Italy in the to familiarise himself with
he had a bad fall just a week most bizarre of competitions. the unfamiliar! A strange
after wards which eventually The mens pole vault was preparation indeed, but as
resulted in extensive delayed by the Decathlon it turned out it was totally
reconstructive shoulder surgery. pole vault and the event correct. He managed to
The injury was so bad that all eventually got under way borrow a pole from an
medical opinion said it was just after midnight. He took American friend in a lower
career ending and that his his opening jump in the age group and secure the win.
shoulder would never regain competition at 2:30am the
the mobility, strength and following morning!! After Reflecting on his success he
functionality necessary to pole reporting for the competition at remarked It was a victory for
vault. 5:30pm on Sunday afternoon, good preparation, foresight
But this is not the first time the competition eventually and adaptability, it was of
course doubly satisfying to
hed been told something finished just before 5am the prove the medical experts
was career ending and he following morning!! That was wrong yet again.
set about rebuilding the certainly a first for him (even
shoulder. In the months that in Masters competitions!). Too stubborn or stupid to
followed he picked up several Jumping through the night stop I am looking forward to
more nasty injuries that also under floodlights,” he remarked new challenges and maybe
challenged his commitment reminded me of the big even more successes in 2014.
and belief that he would once floodlit meetings at Crystal Despite the fact that the sport
again compete at the highest Palace back in the 1970’s and I has dealt me some cruel blows
level (or indeed any level). loved it! I just love it too much to stop.
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