Canadian men miss 4x100m final by a hair at track and field worlds
Team anchored by Andre De Grasse finishes 6th in heat despite season-best time
Despite a season-best time, the Canadian men's 4x100-metre relay team failed to advance to the final at the track and field world championships in Doha, Qatar on Friday.
Gavin Smellie, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, and Andre De Grasse finished sixth in their heat in 37.91 seconds and missed out on qualifying by five 1,000ths of a second.
The top three teams in each heat advanced, along with the next two fastest times. Five of the eight teams in Canada's heat advanced, all finishing with times below 38 seconds.
South Africa was first in the heat at 37.65. Japan (37.78), China (37.79,) France (37.88) and Netherlands (37.91) finished second through fifth, respectively. Although Canada posted the same time as Netherlands by normal time measurements, they lost out on the next decimal point — .901 vs. .906.
WATCH | Canada runs season-best time in 4x100m relay:
Great Britain, Brazil, and the United States advanced from the first heat. The U.S. posted a slower time than Canada at 38.03, but moved on due to finishing third in the heat.
The Canadians expressed disappointment over not qualifying.
"But we went out there and did our best. I'm not sure that we might have been a little bit too conservative for this first round, but I'm still at a loss for words."
According to event organizers, Canada lodged a protest against Team USA after the race, claiming that Team USA did not exchange the baton in the third change within the takeover zone.
As such, Canada requested that the U.S., which ran in the other heat, be disqualified and Team Canada advance to the final.
The protest was later denied.
WATCH | Canadian men's team speaks to Scott Russell after the race:
The U.S. came close to botching changeovers in both the men's and women's heats but still qualified for both finals.
De Grasse was attempting to claim his third medal at this year's event after earning bronze in the 100 and silver in the 200.
Canada did not have an entry in the women's event.
Watson struggles in hurdles, Muhammad sets world record
Sage Watson entered the 400m hurdles final on a high note after shattering the Canadian record in the semis on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old clocked in at 54.32 seconds to qualify fourth, but finished last in a field of eight competitors in the final with a time of 54.82.
"I'm just honoured to be in this final," Watson told Russell after the race.
"I didn't quite execute it the exact way I wanted, but it was my second-fastest time of the year and I'm going to hold my head high. I feel good things coming in 2020."
WATCH | Watson looking ahead to 4x400m relay final:
American Dalilah Muhammad broke her own world record in the race, circling in 52.16 seconds to top the mark she set earlier this year by .04 seconds.
The late-blooming 29-year-old, who didn't have a sponsor or a spot at the London Olympics seven years ago, took a smooth-as-silk path around the track to re-write a mark that had gone 15 years without being touched before she did it at U.S. nationals in July.
WATCH | Dalilah Muhammad breaks own world record in 400m hurdles:
She needed every fraction, as her lean into the line was only good enough for a .07-margin over 20-year-old Sydney McLaughlin (also from the U.S.), whose time of 52.23 would've been the world record a mere 10 weeks ago.
Rushell Clayton finished third at 53.74.
Watson will be back on the track on Sunday to compete in 4x400 relay final.
Barshim delights home crowd in high jump
The crowd in Qatar is delighted after Mutaz Essa Barshim retained his world title in high jump.
Barshim has a personal best of 2.43, two centimetres short of the world record, but opted to stop jumping at 2.37 and start the celebrations.
WATCH | Canada's Michael Mason discusses 'bittersweet' final:
Every jump from Barshim was cheered uproariously by a large crowd of Qataris in the nearest stand, some displaying a large banner bearing his image. The crowd Friday is much larger than at any previous day of the championships after many free tickets were distributed.
Canadian Michael Mason, who cleared 2.30, finished seventh.
With files from The Associated Press