57 Canadians named for world track and field championships
Pole vaulter Shawn Barber, high jumper Derek Drouin will try to defend titles
Forty-eight athletes, including defending champions Shawn Barber in pole vault and injured high jumper Derek Drouin, along with three-time Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse, were named to Canada's team on July 18 for the Aug. 4-13 world track and field championships at London Stadium in England.
Ten days later, Athletics Canada announced the addition of nine athletes, including Maria Bernard in women's 3,000-metre steeplechase, 100m hurdler Angela Whyte and high jumper Alyx Treasure.
The Canadians will attempt to improve upon their surprising and record eight-medal showing two years ago in Beijing.
- De Grasse, Emmanuel pile up gold at nationals
- Achilles injury forces Drouin out of nationals
- Pole vaulter Shawn Barber's struggles continue
"Our team features a great combination of seasoned world-class performers and talented up-and-coming athletes who are ready to make their mark," first-year head coach Glenroy Gilbert told Athletics Canada.
"Canadian success at recent Olympics, Paralympics and world championships has been noticed and respected around the world. We look to capitalize on that positive momentum and perform at a high level in London."
The Canadian team also boasts nine world medallists and nine athletes and one relay squad ranked in the top 10 on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) performance list:
- Damian Warner, 2nd, decathlon
- Men's 4x100m, 2nd
- Christabel Nettey, 3rd, long jump
- Evan Dunfee, 4th, 50km race walk
- Andre De Grasse, 8th, 200m
- Elizabeth Gleadle, 9th, javelin
- Mike Mason, 9th, high jump
- Mo Ahmed, 10th, 5000m
- Mo Ahmed, 10th, 10000m
- Alysha Newman, 10th, pole vault
At 2015 worlds, Barber calmly put on a display of pole vault excellence to secure Canada's first world title in track and field since Perdita Felicien won the women's 100-metre hurdles in 2003.
Born and raised in New Mexico, the Toronto resident cleared 5.90 metres on his first attempt to pass world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France. Barber won as Lavillenie missed three times at 5.90 and defending world champion Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany needed three tries at 5.90 to clear.
This season, Barber has struggled with consistency. The 23-year-old's season best is 5.71, set at the Prefontaine Classic at the end of May in Eugene, Ore., where Barber met the 5.70 world qualifying standard.
Barber, who won the men's pole vault at the recent Canadian track and field championships in Ottawa, finished fourth (5.60) at a Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday.
Drouin, 27, is hopeful of defending his high jump title despite being forced to withdraw from last month's nationals, hampered by a "nagging" Achilles tendon injury.
After winning gold at the 2016 Olympics last summer, Drouin said he competed in Rio de Janeiro with two stress fractures in his spine. In March 2011, he tore two ligaments off his right foot that required two medal screws to be inserted and then removed three months later.
He last competed on June 15 at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, where the native of Sarnia, Ont., tied for third with a jump of 2.25 metres before missing all three attempts at 2.29.
At the end of April, the six-foot-five jumper won a fourth consecutive Drake Relays title, matching the world qualifying standard of 2.30.
Drouin jumped 2.34 in Beijing for the 2015 world title after his victorious jump of 2.37 at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
De Grasse focuses on Bolt
De Grasse, who won three medals in his Olympic debut last summer at Rio de Janeiro, will look to carry momentum from a strong 2017 sprinting season into worlds.
He'll face world-record holder Usain Bolt in a much-anticipated Olympic rematch in the 100 and 200 metres. Bolt won the 100 at the 2015 world championships, with De Grasse finishing in a tie for third.
Meanwhile, Canadian marathon record holder Lanni Marchant won't compete in the event but rather the 10,000 metres after racing the 5,000 at nationals. The 33-year-old, who dealt with pain in her hip, butt and quadriceps muscle the previous four years that led to cramping in her left calf, is now healthy and has her sights set on the Sept. 24 Berlin Marathon.
Here is the complete of Team Canada members headed for London:
- Kelsie Ahbe, pole vault, Toronto
- Maria Bernard, 3,000m steeplechase. Calgary
- Melissa Bishop, 800, Eganville, Ont.
- Leya Buchanan, 100, Mississauga, Ont.
- Alycia Butterworth, 3,000 steeplechase, Parksville, B.C.
- Lindsey Butterworth, 800, Burnaby, B.C.
- Rachel Cliff, 10,000, Vancouver
- Brittany Crew, shot put, Toronto
- Crystal Emmanuel, 100/200, East York, Ont.
- Phylicia George, 100 hurdles, Markham, Ont.
- Elizabeth Gleadle, javelin, Vancouver
- Rachel Hannah, marathon, Barrie, Ont.
- Travia Jones, 400m/4x400, Regina
- Tarah Korir, marathon, St. Clements, Ont.
- Geneviève Lalonde, 3,000 steeplechase, Moncton, N.B.
- Annie Leblanc, 800, Repentigny, Que.
- Natassha McDonald, 4x400, Brampton, Ont.
- Lanni Marchant, 10,000, London, Ont.
- Noelle Montcalm, 400 hurdles/4x400, Belle River, Ont.
- Carline Muir, 400/4x400, Edmonton,
- Christabel Nettey, long jump, Surrey, B.C.
- Alysha Newman, pole vault, London, Ont.
- Anicka Newell, pole vault, Saskatoon
- Jessica O'Connell, 5,000, Calgary
- Dayna Pidhoresky, marathon, Vancouver
- Sheila Reid,1,500, Newmarket, Ont.
- Andrea Seccafien, 5,000, Toronto,
- Nicole Sifuentes, 1,500, Winnipeg
- Gabriela Stafford, 1,500, Toronto
- Aiyanna Stiverne, 400/4x400, Laval, Que.
- Taryn Suttie, shot put, Hanley, Sask.
- Alyx Treasure, high jump, Prince George, B.C.
- Sage Watson, 400 hurdles/4x400, Medicine Hat, Alta.
- Jillian Weir, hammer throw, Kingston, Ont.
- Angela Whyte, 100 hurdles, Edmonton
- Natasha Wodak, 10,000, Vancouver
- Mo Ahmed, 5,000m/10,000m, St. Catharines, Ont.
- Bolade Ajomale, 4x100, Richmond Hill, Ont.
- Shawn Barber, pole vault, Toronto
- Mathieu Bilodeau, 50km race walk, Québec City
- Aaron Brown, 200/4x100, Toronto
- Johnathan Cabral, 110 hurdles, Peribonka, Que.
- Andre De Grasse, 100/200/4x100, Markham, Ont.
- Evan Dunfee, 50km race walk, Richmond, B.C.
- Derek Drouin, high jump, Corunna, Ont.
- Eric Gillis, marathon, Antigonish, N.S.
- Akeem Haynes, 4x100, Calgary
- Matt Hughes, 3,000 steeplechase, Oshawa, Ont.
- Justyn Knight, 5,000, Toronto
- Mike Mason, high jump, Nanoose Bay, B.C.
- Brandon McBride, 800, Windsor, Ont.
- Tim Nedow, shot put, Brockville, Ont.
- Brendon Rodney, 4x100, Brampton, Ont.
- Gavin Smellie, 100/4x100, Brampton, Ont.
- Ben Thorne, 20km race walk, Kitimat, B.C.
- Thomas Toth, marathon, Peterborough, Ont.
- Damian Warner, decathlon, London, Ont.