Mary Thomas - A Legend in the True Meaning
The word legend is used too loosely nowadays when we are referring to sports people, but this time it is truly warranted. Born to compete, Mary Thomas has proven she is now a legend of her sport, by being named 2018 "World's Best Thrower" by the World Masters Association.
Mary Thomas commenced her athletic career, on the road to becoming a legend, when she took on the might of former Olympian and world record holder in swimming, the great Ilsa Konrads. Known for her strength in the pool Konrads was considered the favourite for the Combined High Schools javelin title, but little did she realise she was up against a person just as strong, with better technique in the javelin, and a person of sheer determination and the desire to win this event. On
this day a “legend of our sport” was born, and Mary Thomas has not looked back.
Better known for javelin as her top event, Thomas quickly established herself as one of the best, but was denied Olympic Games selection when selectors believed she was too young. The selectors in those days may have done Mary a favour, as she went on to take out more NSW and Australian Titles than most athletes. In the later years, Mary has become the top Masters athlete in field events.
Although she was a highly talented javelin thrower, she has also excelled in other throwing disciplines throughout her junior and senior career. In Master’s competition, she has also added the Heavy Weight and Throws Pentathlon to her repertoire and has out thrown most masters athletes regardless of her and their ages.
Her success with the javelin was the driving force behind former Commonwealth Games Champion and Olympic Games silver medallist, Louise McPaul-Currey, naming Mary as her “hero”. Mary has since become a technical official and enjoys being out on the field assisting others. Even though she may prefer to be competing herself, she is always willing to give a helping hand.
Mary Thomas is acknowledged as “one of the very best” and this award as the ‘Best Masters Thrower in the World’ is not only justified, but an acknowledgement of the longevity of her career. From a primary school athlete with talent, to a Combined High school athlete who beat a ‘Legend’, to a junior /senior athlete who took more State javelin titles than any other athlete, and now a Masters athlete acknowledged as the best in the world.
What a career, what an athlete, and how deserving to be classified as a legend of our sport.
Article: Valmai Loomes
Photo: Lyn Tague