Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field

DeBues-Stafford runs 800 metres in under 2 minutes in latest Olympic standard feat

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.

1st Canadian woman to break 2 minutes, 4 minutes in 1,500 and 15 minutes in 5,000

Gabriela 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 went 1:58.70 in the 800 on Saturday in Portland, Ore., to dip under the 1:59.50 Tokyo Olympic standard. (Ian Kington/AFP via Getty Images/File)

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.

Don't miss the action

Get must-watch video, live events and breaking news on CBC.ca

More from Tokyo 2020

WATCH | DeBues-Stafford runs 1,500-metre PB at 2019 worlds:

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford sets national record in 1,500 metres, finishes 6th

Sports

2 years ago
7:02
Canada's Gabriela DeBues-Stafford places 6th with a time 3:56.12, Sifan Hassan claims gold. 7:02

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.

"Building up to [the] Tokyo [Olympics] is going to be all about consistency and slowly building the intensity so I arrive fresh and ready to go," she told CBC Sports last December.

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.

With files from CBC Sports

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now