Beatrice back biffing

Queen Bea is back.

After 14 years away from the circle, Beatrice Faumuina has tentatively tested herself in the discus arena again.

It was a successful return for the former world champion as she won gold in the women’s over-45 event at the Masters Games with a throw of 44.86m at the Caledonian on Saturday.

Faumuina, who won the world championships in 1997 and Commonwealth Games gold in 1998 and 2002, initially stepped back into the gym to improve her overall health, but about a year ago, she decided to get back into discus and chase some records set in the masters age groups.

"I also love the challenge of coming back knowing what I’ve done," Faumuina said.

"But [Saturday’s] all about a PB [personal best] at the age of 49, and now I’ve got a marker to start from and progress, so we’ll see how we go."

Things had changed slightly from her professional career.

Throwers only had four attempts, compared to six, to get their lengths right and the sector inside the discus arena had narrowed, leaving her "quietly happy" three of her four attempts landed inside.

Beatrice Faumuina throws the discus at the Masters Games Track and Field at the Caledonian Ground...
Beatrice Faumuina throws the discus at the Masters Games Track and Field at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Masters athletics provided a good first-up challenge for Faumuina was delighted to compete against the largest women’s field she had experienced.

"I had to wait until I was masters, so it’s good to see."

While the layout of discus might have changed, she still found similarities in the way she mentally prepared herself for the competition.

"I don’t think that ever dies.

"It’s just the physicality of what you could do in your 20s is quite significantly different to being in your 50s, almost."

Despite not having competed professionally since 2011, Faumuina believed athletes never fully walked away from their sports — they just had to adapt as they got older.

"I don’t think you ever retire.

"I think there’s a willingness to want to be better, and as age progressing, life kicks in, and that’s where some changes come in.

"There’s parts of when you go into the circle, you try to throw and you try to remember what it was, when you’ve actually got to put that aside and go ‘I’m starting all over again’.

"The beauty of learning it has actually been quite unique for me."

The Masters Games was a chance to see if she could handle competition again — but it left her optimistic.

"I’ve had no injuries, I’ve had a lot of fun out there and I’m quietly confident about what could be next.

"I’ve got to go back home and actually assess a few things."