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Tokyo 2020: Freeman and Lyles among new entrants to MOWA

Freeman, the 1997 and 1999 world 400M champion, is one of the nine World Athletics (WA) Championships medallists whose artefacts have entered MOWA.


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Freeman’s team t-shirt and bib number from the 1999 World Championships in Seville have been on long-term loan to the WA Heritage Collection since 2019.

Freeman is one of two Australian world champions entering MOWA. Dani Samuels, who won the women’s discus at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, had put her victorious singlet and numbers in the temporary trust of the WA Heritage Collection in 2019.

In addition to that there has been the loan of a Spanish team singlet and a pair of spikes from 2007 world 800M bronze medallist Mayte Martinez.

The newest world champion among MOWA additions is Lyles. The 200M gold medallist from Doha donated not only his 2019 World Championships singlet and bib number, but also his spectacular stars and stripes team socks.

Lyles, who recently announced that he will be running sockless in future, is one of the favourites for Olympic 200M gold in Tokyo later this month.

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Joining Freeman and Lyles in MOWA’s collection room are fellow world champions Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway, and Germany’s Thomas Rohler.

The 2004 Olympic and 2007 world decathlon champion Sebrle is represented by one of his spikes (left shoe) from his world silver medal in Paris 2003.

Thorkildsen, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion and 2009 world champion in the javelin, has on display his t-shirt and bib numbers from his silver medal-winning performance in Daegu in 2011.

The exhibit from Rohler, who became Olympic javelin champion in Rio in 2016, is his singlet and numbers from his fourth-place finish at the 2017 World Championships in London which he donated in 2018.

Germany’s Willi Wullbeck, the 1983 world 800M champion, has recently donated the spike (left shoe) which his aunt painted gold in celebration of his famous victory at the inaugural World Championships in Helsinki.

The next oldest of the new artefacts to be added to MOWA is the pair of Tokyo’91 practice spikes worn by Liz McColgan.

In 2019 they were very donated to MOWA collection by Britain’s 1991 World Championships gold medallist and 1992 Olympic silver medallist at 10,000M.

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