Plans for Toronto track centre scrapped

Phylicia George   photo by Claus Anderson

Phylicia George photo by Claus Anderson

TORONTO – Plans to redevelop the Toronto Track and Field Centre for the 2015 Pan American Games have been scrapped, leaving Canada’s top sprinters outraged.

And delays in replacing the centre’s indoor track at York University have left the athletes literally out in the cold.

A spokesman for the Pan Am Games organizing committee confirmed Friday that the plans, which included building a new weight room and meeting rooms, and extending the straightaway of the indoor 200-metre track at York, have been cancelled.

“We remain hopeful that the expanded legacy component for the track and field centre will happen post-Games,” said Teddy Katz, the chief spokesman for TO2015.

It’s bad news for Canada’s top sprinters, who are preparing for the Games in a tiny, cramped room at York.

“We had this expectation coming into the year where we thought, ‘This is going to be so amazing, we’re going to have an indoor facility, we felt like we were really being taken care of, Pan Ams are coming so everything is going to be great, and it’s going to be the perfect setup for Rio (2016 Olympics),” said hurdler Phylicia George.

“But it’s been the total flip of that where we’re kind of out on our own, like ‘Figure things out for yourself, and get it done however you can get it done.’ It’s frustrating. We try not to harp on it every day, because that’s the reality of the situation, I still have to train, I still want to go to Pan Ams and compete well, I can’t be sitting down and crying about it.

“We’re doing what we can to make sure we can be ready. But is it optimal situation? No, not at all.”

George, who was sixth in the 100-metre hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics, trains year-round at York with a national training group that includes Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, and the members of Canada’s men’s relay team that won bronze at the 2013 world championships.

A small room inside the fieldhouse — a building that has barely changed since the days Ben Johnson and Angela Issajenko powered down its track — is where they lift weights, receive massages, soak in ice baths and hold meetings. There can be a couple dozen people squeezed in at one time.

There is one squat rack and one lifting platform, so there’s invariably a lineup to use it, George said.

“When it’s really busy, it can get pretty chaotic,” said Dontae Richards-Kwok, a member of Canada’s relay team. “That’s our weight room, that’s where we have our meetings, that’s where we have the treatment people come in. . . we can have two therapists doing massages, and our coaches might be in there, all our backpacks and stuff. You can imagine with 20 people in the room, that’s only 20 feet by 10 feet maybe, it can get pretty hectic.”

Adding to their frustration, problems with the resurfacing of the indoor track have delayed its opening, so the sprinters have been training on another outdoor track at a different location in the city, which they often share with the Toronto Argonauts. They would normally move indoors at the first sign of cold weather.

“It’s frustrating,”George said. “You want to know that you can be training at your best, and putting your best in, and it just kind of seems like when these things are planned or done, it wasn’t well thought out, and the athlete’s ability to train wasn’t necessarily taken into consideration.”

George said they haven’t been informed when the track might re-open. The group is leaving for St. Kitts for a warm-weather camp Nov. 20, and she said worst-case scenario is they wouldn’t be back inside before then.

The $45.5-million CIBC Stadium is beside the fieldhouse and will host track and field for both the Pan Ams and Parapan Ams. It’s jointly funded by the federal government and York University but is owned by the City of Toronto.

“York University representatives did participate in conversations about enhancements to the Toronto Track and Field Centre but there was no formal agreement, project plan or budget to move forward,” university spokesperson Joanne Rider said in an email. “We are open to exploring potential enhancements following the Games.”

Katz couldn’t specify the reasons for pulling the plug on the fieldhouse expansion, which Athletics Canada officials applauded when the plan was unveiled two years ago.

“I completely understand (the athletes’) frustration,” said Athletics Canada CEO Rob Guy. “Here’s these athletes who have put their lives on hold, and are trying to win medals for Canada, and there’s this great opportunity there and there’s as many questions as answers right now.”

The timing of the upheaval, Guy added, couldn’t be worse.

“Brutal. Brutal,” he said. “We’ve got Pan Am Games where we’re being asked to have our best athletes, and the best prepared they can be, and we’ve got a world championships in Beijing in August, and Rio is 650-some odd days away, and we’ve got these issues. It’s not good.”

The July 10-26 Pan Am Games and Aug. 7-15 Parapan Games, which are being held at venues across southern Ontario, are expected to cost about $2.5 billion, including security, transportation and the athletes village.

By Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

 

Meet two Canadians who believe winning is their only option.

Meet two Canadians who believe winning is their only option

By Callum Ng

Purple and white are uniquely familiar to

decathlete Damian Warner.

Western University’s distinctive hues are indelibly

associated with the hypoxic cloud of hard running

workouts at Don Wright Track.

And four thousand kilometres to the west,

Oregon’s green and yellow represent collegiate pride for

heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who spends her time

toiling at legendary Hayward Field.

Splashed on either side of the continent, the colours could not be more distinct. Yet both combinations have this in common: they adorn places where the first true goal is to win.

Canada’s Damian Warner, right, winner of the men’s decathlon and Canada’s Brianne Theisen, winner of the women’s heptathlon, pose for the media after the Hypo Meeting in Goetzis, Austria, on Sunday, May 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)” data-medium-file=”http://cdnolympic.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bte_warner_austria.jpg?w=556″ data-large-file=”http://cdnolympic.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bte_warner_austria.jpg?w=1131″ />

Oregon’s Brianne Theisen dries off her shot put in the rain as she prepares for the shot put portion of the heptathlon during the first day of the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., Wednesday, June 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)” data-medium-file=”http://cdnolympic.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bte_oregon.jpg?w=294″ data-large-file=”http://cdnolympic.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bte_oregon.jpg?w=598″ />

For Theisen-Eaton and Warner, the fall of 2014 is when the march to Olympic glory truly begins. Both captured Commonwealth Games gold medals this summer and took extended breaks. Now, with 667 days to the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony, it’s time to go back to work.

“From here on out I think it’s safe to say I want to win everything,” says Theisen-Eaton from her home in Eugene, Oregon, before laughing. But not nervously. The 25-year-old isn’t afraid to proclaim her expectations. “In Rio I want the gold medal,” she says, a possibility backed up by her silver from the 2013 World Championships.

Russia Athletics Worlds

Theisen-Eaton did her first heptathlon the summer between ninth and 10th grades, encouraged by her coach with the Saskatoon Track Club. She cried afterwards. Yet her score was high and enough evidence to coax her into trying again.

After a decorated NCAA career, seasons in which she did up to five heptathlons, the exhaustion behind those high school tears hasn’t abated. Seven events over two days requires a minimum of three weeks to recover from. It ends with the distance run. “Going into the 800 you’re always saying to yourself, ‘Why do I do this, this isn’t fun, I want to retire, this is too stressful, I’m nuts’” Theisen-Eaton explains. And in the somewhat humorous and maniacal way athletes can be, “As soon as you’re across the finish line you’re like, ‘That was awesome I can’t wait to do it again.’”

Except after London 2012 when Theisen-Eaton considered never doing it again. The contrast between collegiate domination and Olympic anonymity weighed on the Canadian, who finished 11th. Again, she paraphrases her thoughts: “The Olympic year I went in there and nobody knew who I was, I thought “What’s the point?”

If it’s not a medal why does it even matter? – Brianne Theisen-Eaton on London 2012

Brianne Thiesen

She left London incredibly shaken. The return to her training duo in the fall of 2012 with then-fiancé and US Olympic champion Ashton Eaton (who curiously is Warner’s main competition in Rio) marked a memorable shift. Eaton carried the weariness of a successful Olympic year. Brianne immediately announced her restlessness to storied coach Harry Marra. “I had a fire, I want to win medals I want to be in contention or I’m not going to have fun and I should just quit,” she recalls.

At the world championships in Moscow, one year after London, Theisen-Eaton finished with heptathlon silver. She calls it her latest breakthrough.

Damian Warner won a bronze medal in Moscow, a more incremental improvement on his fifth place from London 2012.

A basketball player in high school Warner only started decathlon in 2010. “My first decathlon we had this whole plan, it just poured rain and it was windy and cold. Nothing went according to plan,” he says looking back. But Warner stuck with it and is now mentioned next to Ashton Eaton as one of the best multi-event men in the world. Warner shot into the decathlon elite starting from 2011 World Championships where he was 18th to this summer’s win in Glasgow.

Britain Commonwealth Games

Like Theisen-Eaton, his sole Olympic experience outside of podium contention was enough.  “It’s either you’re going there to just be there and I’ve done that before I don’t want to do that again or you go there to win and that’s the goal,” says Warner. To close the gap from his current best score of 8512 to Eaton’s world record 9039 Warner believes his best opportunities lie with the long jump, pole vault and 400 metre run.

Long-time Western coach Vickie Croley oversees Warner’s jumping and says he has the ability to win. She also applauds self-belief. “We need our Canadian athletes to have that kind of confidence,” she comments during a conversation last month.

He’s not looking at going to Rio and finishing behind Ashton Eaton he’s looking at going and winning gold – coach Vickie Croley on Damian Warner

Theisen-Eaton and Warner are preparing an entire continent apart for Rio, with the 2015 World Championships the next major step (Warner also hopes to do the ‘dec’ at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games).

It may be a tired sporting adage to always be training for gold. Yet the fresh resolve and unabashed confidence from two of Canada’s top athletes is becoming more common, and happily on the summer stage where it is sorely needed.

By Callum Ng

Writer + Broadcaster, current Senior Writer/Producer for Olympic.ca – Dreamer, doer and raconteur. Find what you love.

Other Posts By: Callum Ng

Liz Gleadle takes third at World Continental Cup in Marrakech

Liz Gleadle by Claus Andersen

Liz Gleadle by Claus Andersen

It took her three rounds to come to life, but when she did Barbora Spotakova showed her class to take the expected eight points for Europe in an event that’s only twice been won by non-Europeans.

After missing 2013 to have her first child, the world record-holder completed her near-perfect comeback season to become the first Czech to win the women’s javelin at the World or Continental Cup.

She produced her best effort of 65.52m, an African all-comers’ record, in round three to relegate South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen to second place, just where she finished four years ago.

Spotakova had trailed the four-time African champion by almost a metre at half way, 62.17m to Viljoen’s 63.16m, and when the South African improved to 63.76m, she responded with her best throw of the contest.

The two-time Olympic champion has won seven contests this year, including the European Championships in Zurich last month, and was beaten just once, by Canadian record-holder Liz Gleadle at the Birmingham IAAF Diamond League meeting in August.

That performance secured Gleadle’s place on the Americas team for Marrakech and the 25-year-old did her continent proud this evening, picking up six points in third place with a best of 61.38m.

In 2010, it was Australian Kim Mickle who finished third for the Asia-Pacific team, but this time the Commonwealth Games champion and Moscow world silver medallist had to settle for fourth with a throw of 61.33m, while Germany’s European bronze medallist Linda Stahl, the world No.2 this year, was fifth, well short of her best with 60.14m.

Matthew Brown for the IAAF

Canada goes to Marrakech

Derek Drouin by Claus Andersen

Derek Drouin by Claus Andersen

Two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games headliners of the Continental Cup IAAF

August 27, 2014

OTTAWA - Ten Canadian athletes were named to the Americas team that will go to Marrakech, Morocco, for the 2014 Continental Cup of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which will take place on September 13 and 14. As headliners of the team, are the recent Commonwealth Games gold medalists Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., And Sultana Frizell of Perth, Ont.Athletes are selected for this team invitational in each region of the IAAF. Representatives of the Americas were invited by considering the international rankings.

Derek Drouin will compete in the high jump, following a season in which he set the Canadian record, clearing 2.40 meters.

Sultana Frizell

Sultana Frizell

Sultana Frizell, who carried the Canadian flag at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, will compete in the women’s hammer throw.

The new Canadian record holder, Jessica Furlan of Regina, Sask., Will race in the 3000 meter steeplechase female.

Liz Gleadle

Liz Gleadle

Elizabeth Gleadle of Vancouver, BC, will participate in the women’s javelin throw. She finished fifth at the Commonwealth Games, and has improved his Canadian record twice.

Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., Made a breakthrough last season, ranking sixth in the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase at the World Championship, thanks to a Canadian record. Hughes finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games.

Cam Levins

Cam Levins of Black Creek, BC, will run the men’s 5,000 meters. He won the bronze at the Commonwealth Games in the men’s 10,000 meters.

Christabel Nettey of Surrey, BC, won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth during the women’s long jump Games. She will represent Canada and the Americas in the same event at the Continental Cup.

Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alta., Will compete in the women’s 3,000 meters. She participated in the same event at the Commonwealth Games.

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot appreciates crowd   photo by  Rita Ivanauskas

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot appreciates crowd photo by
Rita Ivanauskas

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, of Quebec City, QC, has had a great season. He concludes with an appearance in the men’s 1,500 meters. This will be his first experience at a major international event on the world stage.

Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Man., Won bronze at the World Indoor Championships this season, and finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games. Sifuentes compete in the women’s 1,500 meters.

Continental Cup IAAF, formerly known as World Athletics Cup, held every four years.

For more information on the Continental Cup in 2014, whose schedule of Canadians in action, please click here .

-AC-

Alysha Newman closes CWG with Canada’s 17th track and field medal

Alysha Newman

Alysha Newman

Athletics closes at Commonwealth Games; Alysha Newman adds bronze to total medal count of 17  

Glasgow, SCO - Alysha Newman of Delaware, Ont., won the bronze medal today bringing the Canadian total at the 2014 Commonwealth Games to 17; 5 gold, 2 silver and 10 bronze.

On the rainiest day the track has seen since opening the competition at Hampden Park on July 27th, Alysha Newman finished with the bronze medal clearing 3.80 metres in the pole vault. “You know, everyone was in the same conditions. I did what I could and I got third so I am happy; I am leaving with a medal,” comments Alysha. “My first Commonwealth Games, 20 years old, I think that is pretty good. My expectations were to win, whatever that height was going to be I wanted to win and it didn’t happen but that’s ok. Whatever the building blocks are I have to build from those and I am going to do that.”

In the women’s 5000-metres Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alta., finished 10th in 15:45.33.

4x400m women by Claus Andersen

4x400m women by Claus Andersen

The women’s 4×400-metre relay of Audrey Jean-Baptiste of Montreal, Que., Fawn Dorr of Marten River, Ont., Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., and Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax, Ont., finished fifth in 3:32.45. “We had a group of excellent athletes who were young and inexperienced and they did really well,” comments Event Group Coach Anthony McCleary. “Audrey ran a great leg, her first year on an international team; Fawn and Noelle ran excellent, and then Chanice closed with a strong anchor leg. These girls can do a bit down the road and I am looking forward to working with them.”

Shai Davis,Crystal Emmanueal and Kimberly  Hyacinthe  by Claus Andersen

Shai Davis,Crystal Emmanueal and Kimberly Hyacinthe by Claus Andersen

The women’s 4×100-metres relay team of Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., and Khamica Bingham of Caledon, Ont., raced to a fourth place finish in 43.33 seconds. “This is just the start of the women’s 4×100 program and I think we did an amazing job,” comments third leg runner Phylicia George. “Once we get next year and a few years under us we will be on the podium. We dream big, we aim high, we really felt like we could win a medal here so it is a little bit disappointing, but we are going to keep working so next year Pan Ams, Worlds, Olympics we are going to get on the podium.”

4x100 CWG by Claus Andersen

4×100 CWG by Claus Andersen

In the men’s race Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Toronto, Ont., and Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., did not finish the race after an exchange went too long on the last pass. “I felt like our first legs were really strong,” notes Dontae. “I think it is important to get our zones right and we just had a miss-communication and I don’t know if he left early or maybe I was coming in to slow.”

 

Overall the Canadian team is coming home with 17 medals; “The team performed above expectations,” explains Head Coach Peter Eriksson. “I am pleased with the team, their performances and all of the staff. Even though the competition was tougher then what we saw in Delhi we saw performances at a higher level. This is a young team and they are hungry to do more.”

 

17 Medal Winners

Name Event Hometown
Gold -    
Derek Drouin

Sultana Frizell
Jim Steacy
Brianne Theisen-Eaton
Damian Warner

High Jump

Hammer Throw

Hammer Throw

Heptathlon

Decathlon

Corunna, ON

Perth, ON

Lethbridge, AB

Humboldt, SK

London, ON

Silver -    
Diane Roy

Jessica Zelinka

T54 1500m

Heptathlon

Sherbrooke, QC

London, ON

Bronze    
Shawnacy Barber

Alexandre Dupont

Julie Labonté

Cameron Levins

Michael Mason

Tim Nedow

Christabel Nettey
Alysha Newman

Kate Van Buskirk

Angela Whyte

Pole Vault

T54 1500m

Shot Put

10,000m

High Jump

Shot Put

Long Jump

Pole Vault

1500m

100m Hurdles

Toronto, ON

Clarenceville, QC

Ste-Justine, QC

Black Creek, BC

Nanoose Bay, BC

Brockville, ON

Surrey, BC

Delaware, ON

Toronto, ON

Edmonton, AB

For more information click here.

 

Emily Hooper

Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada
ehooper@athletics.ca
07913595980

Medal Count now at 16 for Canadian Track and Field Team in Glasgow

Cam Levins

Shawnacy Barber, Cameron Levins and Angela Whyte all win Bronze at Commonwealth Games  

Glasgow, SCO - Three bronze were added to the Commonwealth Games medal haul today bringing the total Athletics (Track & Field) count at the Games to 16. Shawnacy Barber of Toronto, Ont., Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C., and Angela Whyte of Edmonton, Alta., all made their way onto the podium.

Shawn Barber

Shawn Barber

Shawnacy Barber opened the competition winning bronze in the pole vault clearing 5.45 metres. “Well I hoped to be on the podium and I got that done so I am very happy with that,” comments Shawnacy. “I think between maybe four of us out there we all had a chance at silver and gold but it always comes down to the day.”

Cam Levins by Claus Andersen

Cam Levins by Claus Andersen

In the men’s 10000-metres Cameron Levins flew down the home stretch for the bronze medal in 27:56.23; just behind Cam was Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., for sixth in 28:02.96. “I started tying up the last 50 metres,” notes Cam. “I was hoping they wouldn’t catch me but they did and I hopefully will learn from that. I am so happy to be on the podium; this is my first time. I hope I can only do better from here but I will enjoy this moment and go back and train harder.”

Angela Whyte and Melissa Bishop   photo by Claus Andersen

Angela Whyte and Melissa Bishop photo by Claus Andersen

Angela Whyte ended the night with a podium finish in the women’s 100-metres hurdles crossing the line in 13.02 seconds. “The time wasn’t the greatest, I have been struggling all year long and to tell you the truth I was down on myself, I didn’t look too hopeful (for a medal),” comments Angela. “My team mates, they really had a lot of faith in me and I just had to fight. I fought for 13.02; which is not something that is normal. You can’t be mad with a medal from Commonwealth Games and I am just always happy to represent Canada and do the best that I can.”

In the women’s 800-metres final Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., finished eighth in 2:02.61. “I had a great two days, the ultimate goal was to get to the final and anything else is a bonus. I am happy to be here, hope it is a building block for things to come.”

Matt Hughes

Matt Hughes

In the men’s steeplechase Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., led the Canadian contingent with a fourth place finish in 8:21.88. “You know I thought my prep and fitness coming in was good,” notes Matt. “I told myself at the start of the games I would be disappointed with anything but a medal. Not to put too much pressure on myself because I’m so young in the sport, but I don’t want to be one of those people that just is happy to be here, in top 5 or top 10, I am here to win a race.”

Chris Winter of Vancouver, B.C., finished sixth in 8:29.83 and Taylor Milne was disqualified after the race.

In the women’s discus final Julie Labonté of Ste-Justine, Que., finished 12th with 52.30 metres. “I had a good warm up throw but I don’t think it would have been enough to get top eight,” notes Julie. “My throws were not consistent, it was like there was a wall in front of me! It didn’t go as well as I thought it was going to.”

Qualification Rounds

In the women’s 4×400-metre relay the team of Audrey Jean-Baptiste of Montreal, Que., Fawn Dorr of Marten River, Ont., Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., and Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax Ont., finished third in their heat in 3:31.02 for an automatic qualification into tomorrows final.

 

Daundre Barnaby of Brampton, Ont., Philip Osei of Toronto, Ont., Brendon Rodney of Toronto, Ont., and Michael Robertson of Williamstown, Ont., were disqualified after they thought they had placed second in their heat. The disqualification was Rule 170.19; starting outside of the takeover zone.

 

The women’s 4×100-metre relay team of Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., and Khamica Bingham of Caledon, Ont., placed third for the automatic qualification in 43.66.

The men’s 4×100-metre relay team also qualified by finishing second in their heat. Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Toronto, Ont., and Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., clocked 38.41 seconds.

Aside from the relays, tomorrow will feature Alysha Newman of Delaware, Ont., in the women’s pole vault along with Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alta., in the women’s 5000-metres.

For more information click here.

Emily Hooper
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada
ehooper@athletics.ca
07913595980

3 more medals for Canadian trackstars

Diane Roy   photo by Claus Andersen

Diane Roy photo by Claus Andersen

Diane Roy takes Silver; Alexandre Dupont and Christabel Nettey claim Bronze in Glasgow

 

Veuillez cliquer ici pour la version française

  

Glasgow, SCO - The Canadian track and field team won three more medals today in athletics competition at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., won silver, Alex Dupont of Clarenceville, Que., and Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., picked up bronze medals. To date Athletics Canada has won a total of 13 medals; 5 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze.

 

Diane Roy aggressively led the women’s wheelchair 1500-metres race but was edged at the finish line by Angela Ballard of Australia who finished in 3:59.20. Roy was a close second in 3:59.55.”I’m happy with my race, I’m not happy with the result,” said Roy. “It was hard to be in front the whole way, but it was a good thing because there was a lot of rain and when you are behind, you receive a lot of water. I started to sprint with 400-metres to go, maybe I started to sprint too soon, it killed me at the end.”

 

Alex Dupont by Claus Andersen.

Alex Dupont by Claus Andersen.

In the men’s wheelchair 1500-metres Alex Dupont raced to bronze in 3.23.62. “These Games have been amazing. This is the only event where our medals count like everyone else’s so it’s an amazing opportunity for us.” Alex adds; “I’m very, very happy. The wet track for us changes the game completely. I know for runners it does too, because it’s slipperier, but for us it can go from being the very best athlete to the worst.”

 

Josh Cassidy of Ottawa, Ont., placed sixth in 3:27.24 after getting out to a fast start. “It felt good until I was trying to max out and it was just slipping,” said Cassidy. “I obviously have more to figure out when it comes to max sprints during the rain.” He adds; “The crowds were awesome in there and it’s really exciting to be a part of this Canadian team again. I’m really looking forward to the big one, Rio, and Pan Ams before that, so all these are just great stepping stones to work things out for the big ones that matter most.”

 

Cristabel Nettey   photos by Claus Andersen

Cristabel Nettey photos by Claus Andersen

In the women’s long jump Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., registered a best jump of 6.49-metres to secure bronze, and the third track and field medal of the day. ”The rain was hard to adjust to, but coming into only my second major Championship and medalling I can only grow from that,” said Nettey. “I am happy to bring the medal home for Canada. Adjusting to the rain and the wind, medal ceremonies and all that waiting, it was hard but that is just track and field and you adjust. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it done today (for gold) but I am still happy.”

 

Noelle Montcalm   photo by Claus Andersen

Noelle Montcalm photo by Claus Andersen

In the women’s 400-metres hurdles Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., placed fifth in the final. “It went pretty well. I went slower than my qualifying time by two-hundredths, but still a respectable time for me, so I’m pleased with how it went,” comments Noelle. “I was happy with my stride pattern, my race pattern. I tried to stick with them, but being in lane two I had a good look at everybody. It’s hard to stay focused in your own lane when you see the rest of the lanes moving ahead, so I just tried to remain in my own lane and finish as fast as I could.”

Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax, Ont., did not finish the race.

 

Angela Whyte of Edmonton, Alta., won her heat of the 100-metres hurdles in 13.33 seconds to secure her spot in tomorrow’s final. Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., finished fifth in her heat in 13.66 and does not advance to the final.

 

Julie Labonté of Ste-Justine, Que., qualified for the women’s discus final tomorrow with a throw of 50.32-metres.

 

Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., qualified earlier in the day for the women’s 200-metres final clocking 23.14 seconds in her semi-final. She went on to finish seventh in the final in 23.11 seconds. Shai-Anne Davis of Richmond, B.C., and Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., did not advance into the final, clocking 23.48 and 23.40 respectively in the semis.

 

In the men’s 200-metres Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., and Brendon Rodney of Toronto, Ont., did not advance to the final with times of 20.73 and 20.89 respectively in the semis. Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., qualified for the final with a run of 20.54 seconds. In the final Gavin finished eight in 20.55 seconds. ”It was a great experience being in the final but at the same time you still want to make something happen,” commented Gavin. “Lane one was a bit tough, I have to take it as it is. Only thing to do now is to move on and stay motivated. We’ve got the relay tomorrow.”

Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., qualified for tomorrow’s 800-metres final placing second in her semi-final in 2:01.86. Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., did not advance with a time of 2:04.42.

 

A look at tomorrow

Gavin Smellie, Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Toronto, Ont., and Andre De Grasse will step into action in the heats of the men’s 4×100-metres.

Tomorrow will also see the heats of the women’s 4×100-metres, women’s 4×400-metres and men’s 4×400-metres.

 

The men’s 3000-metres steeplechase will feature three Canadians; Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., Taylor Milne of Guelph, Ont., and Chris Winter of Vancouver, B.C.

The men’s pole vault final will see Shawnacy Barber of Toronto, Ont., enter action.

Lining up in the men’s 10000-metres final will be Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., and Cameron Levins of Black Creek, B.C.

 

For more information click here.

 

-AC-

 

Emily Hooper
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada
ehooper@athletics.ca

07913595980

 

Canada nails 5 medals today in Glasgow in Track and Field

 

Derek Drouin by Claus Andersen

Derek Drouin by Claus Andersen

Derek Drouin, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Jessica Zelinka, Mike Mason & Julie Labonté stand on podium on day 4

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Glasgow, SCO - The Canadian athletics team took home five medals on day four of track and field competition at the Commonwealth Games. Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., and Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., won gold; Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., won silver; and Julie Labonté of Ste-Justine, Que., and Michael Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C., picked up bronze medals.

The team has won 9 medals in four days of track and field competition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Mike Mason by Claus Andersen

Mike Mason by Claus Andersen

Derek Drouin and Michael Mason were the first to climb on the podium in the men’s high jump. Derek won gold with a performance of 2.31-metres. “It’s definitely nice to get a prettier looking medal that’s for sure,” laughed Derek. “There is always something you can work on, even coming away winning there is stuff to work on constantly.” He adds; “It’s always easier to have someone out there with you, it makes the competition a lot more fun and enjoyable.”

Mike Mason won bronze with a jump of 2.25-metres. “I am consistently jumping 2.25,” commented Mike from the mixed zone. “To win bronze feels really good, I really wanted to push it, I feel like there is a lot more there, I just have to keep working on it and maybe calm down a bit. It was really exciting out there and I think I rushed a bit at the next height.”

Brianne Theisen-Eaton  photo by Claus Anderesen

Brianne Theisen-Eaton photo by Claus Anderesen

Brianne Theisen-Eaton won gold in the heptathlon scoring 6597 points. “I have had a couple silver medals over the last year and a half,” said Brianne. “Getting gold was something I wanted to accomplish and check off the checklist. I wanted to have a good score here, when you can score well at these types of meets it is a big thing going forward.”

Jessica Zelinka  photo by Claus Andersen

Jessica Zelinka photo by Claus Andersen

Jessica Zelinka took home the silver in the heptathlon with 6270 points. “It was a heptathlon, it is one event, you can break it down all you want. When it comes down to it I came out here and put my efforts out there,” notes Jessica. I am working through some things, I gained a lot of confidence, although it didn’t show in my marks. I am very happy with where things are at, and where things are going.”

Julie Labonte   photo by Claus Andersen

Julie Labonte photo by Claus Andersen

Julie Labonté won bronze in the women’s shot put with 17.58-metres. “I was working on my technique and trying to get better with each throw, which is what I did so I was really happy.” She adds, “I am focusing on discus tomorrow and the next couple of days, but I am also looking ahead to both the Pan Am Games in 2015 and the Olympics in 2016.”

In the women’s javelin final Elizabeth Gleadle of Vancouver, B.C., placed fifth with a best throw of 60.69-metres.

Brandon McBride  photo by Claus Andersen

Brandon McBride photo by Claus Andersen

Brandon McBride of Windsor, Ont., was disqualified in the 800-metres semi finals for obstructing a competitor.

In the heats of the women’s 200-metres all three Canadian women qualified to tomorrow’s semi-finals. Kim Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., 23.29, Shai-Anne Davis of Richmond, B.C., 23.51 and Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., 23.54 all automatically qualified.

Andre De Grasse   photo by Claus Andersen

Andre De Grasse photo by Claus Andersen

The morning session saw three Canadian men qualify to the men’s 200-metres semi-finals. Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., won his heat in 20.56, Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., won his heat in 20.74 and Brendon Rodney of Toronto, Ont., clocked 20.77 for second in his heat. The semis and final takes place tomorrow.

Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith  photos by Claus Andersen

Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith photos by Claus Andersen

In the heats of the women’s 800-metres Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., and Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., qualified for the semi-finals by winning their respective heats in 2:01.73 and 2:05.22. Karine Belleau-Béliveau of Montreal, Que., was fourth in her heat in 2:03.98; she will not advance to the semis. The semi-finals are tomorrow with the final on Friday.

 

Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., registered her best jump on her first attempt of women’s long jump qualification. 6.47-metres secured her spot in tomorrow’s final.

 

Other Canadians enter action tomorrow

Diane Roy   photo by Claus Andersen

Diane Roy photo by Claus Andersen

The T54 wheelchair 1500-metres finals will see Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., in the women’s final and both Josh Cassidy of Ottawa, Ont., and Alex Dupont of Clarenceville, Que., in the men’s race.

Chanice Taylor-Chase   photo by Claus Andersen

Chanice Taylor-Chase photo by Claus Andersen

Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax, Ont., and Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., race in the final of the women’s 400-metre hurdles.

 

The heats of the 100-metres hurdles will end things tomorrow night featuring Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., and Angela Whyte of Edmonton, Alta.

For more on the athletics team at the Commonwealth Games click here.

 

-AC-

 

Emily Hooper
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada
ehooper@athletics.ca
07913595980

Two Gold and Bronze for Canadian Track and Field in Glasgow CWG

 

Damian Warner  photo by Claus Andersen

Damian Warner photo by Claus Andersen

Damian Warner, Jim Steacy, Kate Van Buskirk add to Commonwealth medal count on day 3

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Glasgow, SCO - Jim Steacy of Lethbridge, Alta., and Damian Warner of London, Ont., won gold in the hammer and decathlon respectively tonight while Kate Van Buskirk of Toronto, Ont., won bronze in the women’s 1500-metres.

Damian Warner captured the first medal of the evening with gold in the decathlon with a total score of 8282 points. Damian entered day two of decathlon in the lead and held onto it with a number of strong performances. He set a Games best and decathlon personal best of 13.50 in the 110-metres hurdles, launched the discus 41.31-metres, vaulted 4.50-metres, threw the javelin 61.96-metres and crossed the line in the 1500-metres in 4:45.43. “It’s my first major international victory!” commented Damian. “Last year at Worlds I was able to stand on the podium and do the victory lap with the flag. This time it’s the same thing but on top of the podium, what an awesome feeling.”

James Steacy  photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

James Steacy photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Jim Steacy also got to feel what it’s like to step on top of the podium by winning gold in the men’s hammer throw with a throw of 74.16-metres on his second attempt. “It’s unbelievable, this is a dream come true to finish off the season”, notes Jim. “It has been a long time coming, just amazing. I won the 2007 Pan American Games so it has been a long time. The crowd noise is a major part, the atmosphere is fantastic, and it was just so much fun. It is something I thrive on, the noise, the atmosphere, when the fans get engaged like that, it’s hard not to do well and as soon as you get a throw out you are just going for broke and see what happens.”

Kate Van Buskirk  photo by Claus Andersen

Kate Van Buskirk
photo by Claus Andersen

Kate Van Buskirk completed the medal hat trick with bronze in the women’s 1500-metres. The field was still bunched with 200-metres to go when Kate made her big move. Her official time was 4:09.41. “Coming into the stadium and seeing it packed like that, I mean, it was packed for the heats nevermind the final, you really can thrive off that crowd. This was the first time in my life that I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t nervous last night, I wasn’t nervous today and I think I was just so amped up and excited and grateful for the opportunity to be here I am just really happy with how it all played out.”

Nicole Sifuentes  photo by Claus Andersen

Nicole Sifuentes photo by Claus Andersen

Hot on Kate’s heels was Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Man., who finished fourth in 4:10.48.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton  photo by Claus Anderesen

Brianne Theisen-Eaton photo by Claus Anderesen

After four events in the heptathlon Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., leads the way with 3939 points, just behind her is Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., with 3744. Brianne clocked 13.18 seconds in the 100-metre hurdles, leapt 1.84 metres in the high jump, threw the shot put 13.71-metres, and clocked 23.41 in the 200-metres. Jessica ran the hurdles in a Games best of 12.83 seconds, high jumped 1.69-metres, registered 13.65-metres in the shot put, and crossed the line in the 200-metres in 24.00. Tomorrow the women will complete the heptathlon with the long jump, javelin and 800-metres.

Jessica Zelinka  photo by Claus Andersen

Jessica Zelinka photo by Claus Andersen

None of the Canadian men advanced out of the 400-metres semi-finals. Daundre Barnaby of Brampton, Ont., Philip Osei of Toronto, Ont., and Michael Robertson of Williamstown, Ont., all finished sixth in their respective heats.

In the heats of the T54 wheelchair 1500-metres Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., came out strong winning her heat in 3:52.83 to qualify for Thursday’s final. Josh Cassidy of Ottawa, Ont., and Alex Dupont of Claranceville, Que., qualified to the men’s final, both finishing second in their respective heats in 3:29.81 and 3:20.14.

Chanice Chase  photo by Cllaus Andersen

Chanice Taylor-Chase photo by Cllaus Andersen

Earlier in the day Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax, Ont., finished second in her 400-metre hurdles heat in 57.23 seconds for automatic qualification to Thursday’s final. Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., was third in her heat in 56.72 seconds, which was fast enough to take her through to the final as well.

Brandon McBride of Windsor, Ont., qualified for the men’s 800-metres semi-finals with a time of 1:49.29 in the heats.

Canadian action on Wednesday

In the men’s high jump final are Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., and Michael Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C.

Elizabeth Gleadle of Vancouver, B.C., competes in the women’s javelin final.

Julie Labonté of Ste-Justine, Que., fights for a spot on the podium in the women’s shot put final.

The men’s 200-metres heats get underway first thing tomorrow morning with Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., Brendon Rodney of Toronto, Ont., and Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont.

Shai-Anne Davis of Richmond, B.C., Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., and Kim Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., line up in the women’s 200-metres heats.

Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., will be in the women’s long jump looking to secure a spot in the final.

The women’s 800-metres heats begin with Karine Belleau-Béliveau of Montreal, Que., Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., and Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C.

For more on the athletics team at the Commonwealth Games click here.

-AC-

Emily Hooper
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada
ehooper@athletics.ca
07913595980

Frizell and Nedow strike medal for Canada at CWG

Sultana Frizell by Claus Andersen

Sultana Frizell by Claus Andersen

Sultana Frizell golden again at Commonwealth Games; Tim Nedow wins Bronze

 

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Glasgow, SCO - The Canadian track and field team won two medals within about 30-minutes of time on the second day of competition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Both medals were won in throwing events, Sultana Frizell of Perth, Ont., won gold in the hammer and Tim Nedow of Brockville, Ont., took bronze in the shot put.

Sultana Frizell defender her 2010 title in the women’s hammer throw registering 71.97-metres, her third time establishing a new Commonwealth Games Record at the 2014 event. “I would have liked to throw further but I got the gold and a games record and I am completely thrilled with that,” comments Sultana. “It was a lot of fun with the crowd and a great atmosphere to compete in.”

Tim Nedow photo by Claus Andersen

Tim Nedow
photo by Claus Andersen

In the men’s shot put Tim Nedow won the bronze medal with 20.59-metres. “It was a great competition, by far the best we have had (at a Commonwealth Games),” comments Tim. “I mean two guys breaking the Commonwealth Games record just shows how stacked it was. With me coming in I knew I had a chance to potentially get a medal but I also know if I want to win it, it would take 21-metres which would have been a personal best. I wanted a personal best but you know, I had three throws over 20-metres.” Justin Rodhe of Kamloops, B.C., was unable to register a mark.

Khamica Bingham by Claus Andersen

Khamica Bingham by Claus Andersen

In the women’s 100-metres final Khamica Bingham of Brampton, Ont., finished seventh in 11.37 seconds. “It is kind of mixed emotions, I feel like I didn’t have the greatest start,” notes Khamica. “It is a bit more difficult to run in lane 1 because you can’t see anybody. I just tried to go out hard and then just keep running. I felt that I was tightening up a little bit trying to relax and then I just came out seventh. I was happy to make the final, that was my goal but I really wanted to do more in the final.”

Earlier in the day in the women’s 100-metres semi final Khamica qualified to the final with a time of 11.32 seconds. Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., was just out of the top eight clocking in 11.43 seconds. Shai-Anne Davis of Toronto, Ont., clocked 11.52 seconds.

In the men’s 100-metres both Aaron Brown and Dontae Richards-Kwok of Toronto, Ont., did not advance to the finals. Aaron finished his semi final in fifht in 10.17 and Dontae ran 10.42 in his semi final.

Audrey Jean Baptiste  photo by Claus Andersen

Audrey Jean Baptiste
photo
by Claus Andersen

Audrey Jean-Baptiste of Montreal, Que., raced the one-lap 400-metres in 53.61 seconds, it was not enough to advance to the final.

Damian Warner  photo by Claus Andersen

Damian Warner
photo by Claus Andersen

Damian Warner leads decathlon

After the first day of competition in the decathlon Damian Warner of London, Ont., sits in first place with 4378 points. Damian opened the day clocking a personal best and Commonwealth Games record in the decathlon 100-metres with 10.29 seconds. In the long jump he registered 7.50-metres, in the shot put 14.04-metres, in the high jump 1.96-metres and clocked 47.78 seconds in the last event of the day, the 400-metres.

“I’m pleased with everything except for high jump, I would have liked to get around the 2.05-metres range but I guess I will have to settle with 1.96 and make up the points in other places”, notes Damian. “High jump wasn’t the greatest but I had to tell myself to come out and run a hard 400-metres, I did that close to a personal best in a decathlon so that’s a good result.” Damian adds, “The 100-metres was good, about halfway through I thought ‘please say .29 because I wanted to dip under 10.30 (seconds).”

Everyone advances from morning session

Jim Steacy of Lethbridge, Alta., automatically qualified for the hammer throw final with a toss of 70.62-metres on his first attempt, the final takes place tomorrow.

Duandre Barnaby  photo by Claus Andersen

Duandre Barnaby
photo by Claus Andersen

In the men’s 400-metres all three Canadians advanced into tomorrow’s semi-finals. Daundre Barnaby of Brampton, Ont., ran 46.16, Philip Osei of Toronto, Ont., clocked 47.11 and Michael Robertson of Williamstown, Ont., ran 46.87.

Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., and Michael Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C., qualified into the high jump final with clearances over 2.20-metres, the final takes place Wednesday.

Kate Van Buskirk  photo by Claus Andersen

Kate Van Buskirk
photo by Claus Andersen

Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Man., and Kate Van Buskirk of Toronto, Ont., advanced to the 1500-metres final. Kate placed second in her heat for the automatic qualification with 4:07.74, Nicole advanced with a time of 4:06.61. The 1500-metres final is tomorrow.

Canadians in action on Tuesday

The heptathlon gets underway tomorrow with two Canadians, Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., and Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont.

The T54 wheelchair 1500-metres heats will feature Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., in the women’s race and Josh Cassidy of Ottawa, Ont., and Alex Dupont of Clarenceville, Que.

Opening in the 400-metres hurdles is Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax, Ont., and Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont.

Brandon McBride of Windsor, Ont., enters action in the men’s 800-metres.

For more on athletics at the Commonwealth Games click here.

-AC-

Emily Hooper
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada
ehooper@athletics.ca
07913595980