The USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States, has announced that Irene Obera of Fremont, California has been chosen as the 2016 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year.
Obera, also the 2014 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year, won gold in the W80 100 meters, 200 meters, the 80-meter short hurdles, 200-meter long hurdles, the long jump, 4x100m and 4x400m relays, and the heptathlon at the World Masters Championships in Perth, Australia this fall. Obera set world records in the short hurdles and heptathlon in Perth, and now holds world records in the 100m, 200m, short hurdles, long hurdles, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay.
“I am grateful to USATF for recognizing the accomplishments of masters track and field athletes,” Obera said. “After a career spanning more than four decades, I gladly accept this award on behalf of all of my fellow masters athletes who show up every day and compete simply for the pure joy of it, and who have been such a tremendous source of support to me over the years.”
Obera also won seven USATF titles this year at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships in the 60 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, high jump, long jump, triple jump and pentathlon.