Athletics Canada names 2018 IAAF World Indoor
14 February 2018 OTTAWA
Athletics Canada named 14 athletes today, four men and 10 women, to represent Canada at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships that will take place in Birmingham, U.K., from Thursday, March 1, to Sunday, March 4. The team is led by an Olympic medallist, World Champion and features nine athletes who have competed in an IAAF World Championships or Olympic final.
“The World Indoor Championships in Birmingham are a great competitive opportunity for Canadian athletes,” said Glenroy Gilbert, Athletics Canada’s head coach. “The four-day meet will see some of our top current and upcoming athletes go up against some of the world’s best. This is a small, but highly competitive team. The standards to make the team were rigorous and we feel those competing in Birmingham are ready to reach finals and compete for medals.”
Leading the charge will be 2016 Olympic bronze medallist in the decathlon, Damian Warner of London, Ont., and 2015 IAAF World Champion in the pole vault, Shawn Barber. Warner received an invitation to take part in the heptathlon and looks to challenge for the world title and threaten the Canadian record in the event. Barber appears to be rounding to form at the right time after achieving the world indoor standard this past weekend in Poland.
“It’s an honour to be invited to compete for Canada at the World Indoor Championships,” said Warner, who won bronze in the decathlon at the 2016 Olympics. “The 2018 IAAF World Indoors will be a great way for our team to build momentum going into this spring’s Commonwealth Games and beyond. The roster is small but features a very talented group of athletes. I know each of them will look to make their mark in Birmingham.”
Joining Warner and Barber will be 2017 World Championships finalists: Crystal Emmanuel of Pickering, Ont. (60-metres), Geneviève Lalonde of Moncton, N.B. (3000-metre), Alysha Newman of London, Ont. (pole vault), Brittany Crew of Toronto (shot put) and 2016 Olympic Games finalist Johnathan Cabral (60-metre hurdles).
Newman and Crew both recently improved their Canadian indoor records and appear to be ready for their shot at a medal in Birmingham. Emmanuel set a season’s best of 7.28 seconds and Cabral won the 60-metre hurdles at the Grand Prix d’Athlétisme de Montréal. Last weekend, Lalonde also became the third fastest Canadian ever at 3000-metres clocking a time of 8:49.78.
Kate Vanbuskirk of Brampton, Ont., has been sensational this indoor track season. Over the past month, she’s broken the Canadian indoor mile record and became the second fastest Canadian 3000-metre performer of all-time. Her mile time of 4:26.92 is currently the fastest in the world for 2018.
“Any opportunity to wear the red and white of Canada on the international stage is an honour and a privilege,” said Vanbuskirk who will compete in the 1500-metres. “I know that I am representing not only myself, but my teammates and coaches, family and friends, community, city, province and my country. This is my first national team in three and half years and I couldn’t be more proud of or grateful for this opportunity.”
Tim Nedow of Brockville, Ont., has been a stalwart on major championship teams over the past five years and looks to compete for a podium spot in Birmingham. Nedow has been flirting with the 21-metre mark this winter. His season’s best of 20.82-metres has him ranked seventh in the world for 2018.
Other Canadians competing in Birmingham include: Travia Jones of Saskatoon (400-metres), Kelsey Balkwill of Essex, Ont. (400-metres), Jenna Westaway of Calgary (800-metres), Gabriela Stafford of Toronto (1500-metres) and Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C. (long jump).