DeBues-Stafford runs 800 metres in under 2 minutes in latest Olympic standard feat
1st Canadian woman to break 2 minutes, 4 minutes in 1,500 and 15 minutes in 5,000
Canada's Gabriela DeBues-Stafford showed her impressive range on Saturday night, dipping under the Tokyo Olympic standard and the two-minute barrier in the 800 metres.
The 25-year-old from Toronto ran one minute 58.70 seconds to win the Portland Track Festival.
DeBues-Stafford is the first Canadian woman to ever break two minutes in the 800, four minutes in the 1,500 and 15 minutes in the 5,000. She is also the fourth-fastest 800 runner among Canadian women, trailing Melissa Bishop-Nriagu (1:57.01), Diane Cummins (1:58.39) and Charmaine Crooks (1:58.52).
The Bowerman Track Club athlete, who ran 2:00.03 two weeks ago at the Sound Running Track Meet in California, holds the Canadian records in the mile, 1,500 and 5,000 outdoors and the mile and 5,000 indoors.
The Tokyo Olympic standard in the 800 is 1:59.50.
On May 9, DeBues-Stafford flirted with the four-minute mark in the 1,500 at the USATF Golden Games, clocking 4:00.69 for a second-place finish in Walnut, Calif. She carried a 3:56.12 personal best into 2021.
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Ranked fourth in the world in the event, DeBues-Stafford will be a serious medal contender at her second Olympics this summer in Tokyo.
The 25-year-old DeBues-Stafford, who didn't compete in the 2020 season during the pandemic, focused on strength and endurance work rather than race-specific workouts on the track — though the team did some speed work — and trained at altitude earlier this year in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Fellow Canadians Andrea Seccafien and Julie-Anne Staehli both dipped under the 15-minute mark to finish second and third, respectively in the 5,000 on Saturday.
Seccafien, who earlier this month broke the Canadian 10,000-metre record, ran 14:57.07, while Staehli ran 14:57.50.
Man... <a href="https://twitter.com/jastaehli?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jastaehli</a> has absolutely grinded her way to SUB-15.<br><br>15:02 3 weeks ago<br>15:01 2 weeks ago<br>14:57.50 today. <br><br>Oh, and 🇨🇦 <a href="https://twitter.com/aseccafien?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@aseccafien</a> beat Staehli by one spot, also in a PB: 14:57:07.<br><br>Four Canadian women under 15 this year... this is nuts. <a href="https://t.co/cTzfRCxDBA">pic.twitter.com/cTzfRCxDBA</a>—@Cyresy_10
Natalia Hawthorn and <a href="https://twitter.com/K8VBeast?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@K8VBeast</a> JUST outside of Olympic 1,500m standard of 4:04.20 tonight in Portland. <br><br>PB for Hawthorn, KVB 0.01 off her best mark🇨🇦🔥 <a href="https://t.co/Vr9pZ5oflA">pic.twitter.com/Vr9pZ5oflA</a>—@Cyresy_10
With files from CBC Sports