WE'RE halfway into the year and West Vancouverite Christa Bortignon is already striking gold, and no, she's not panning for it.
This 76-year-old is already well on her way to accomplishing her goals for this year for breaking world records in long jump, 100-metre and 200-metre dash events.
From Aug. 2 to 11 Bortignon competed at the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy in various different track and field events as part of the heptathlon 75-to 79-year-old age division, including the 200-metre dash and long jump.
She took home five gold medals and set two world records in the women's 75-79 division while there.
"It is a great honour to compete for Canada in another country with so many experienced athletes," she said in an email interview.
She scored 6,519 points overall in the heptathlon, smashing the previous world record of 5,416 points.
She ran the 200-metre dash twice, in both the heptathlon at 34.23 seconds and individually at 34.20 seconds. Both those times bested the previous record of 34.40 seconds.
She won the 100-metre dash in 16.06 seconds, coming close to breaking the current world record of 15.91 seconds.
Bortignon also won the long jump with a 3.69-metre leap. The world record in that event is listed at 3.77-metres.
Bortignon now holds world records in 12 different track and field events, and 28 Canadian records.
From Aug. 20 to 24 she will be competing in the B.C. Senior Games in Kamloops, and in October she will be travelling to Porto Alegre in Brazil to take part in the World Masters Athletic Championships.
And she doesn't plan on stopping any time soon.
"Yes, it is a challenge to see how far I can go," she said. "As long as I am healthy I would like to compete and break records."
West Vancouver's John Hawkins also made the trip to Turin for the Games, winning silver in the men's 60+ high jump with a leap of 1.54 metres.
Photo Robert Jerome / WEST Vancouver's 76-year-old Christa Bortignon sails her way to gold in long jump in the 75-79 age group at the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy.;