Track and Field

Canada's Django Lovett finishes 6th in men's high jump final at athletics worlds

Canada's Django Lovett was unable to clear what would have been a season-best height of 2.30 metres on Monday and finished sixth in the men's high jump final at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Fellow Canadians Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake advance to men's 200m semifinal

Canadian high jumper Django Lovett finished sixth in the men's final at the world championships after being unable to clear a bar of 2.30 metres on Monday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. (Gregory Bull/The Associated Press)

It was going so smoothly for Canada's Django Lovett in the high jump final on Monday night at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

He was flawless through seven jumps and seemed poised to make a push for the podium at Hayward Field.

But with pressure mounting in the final, Lovett was unable to clear what would have been a season-best height of 2.30 metres and finished sixth in the event. 

"I was definitely confident out there, technically I wasn't as confident. I just wasn't comfortable on my mid-mark. I have to figure that out," Lovett told CBC Sports after the event. 

"Physically I'm in the best shape of my life. Mentally I'm in the best shape of my life; I just need to clean things up."

WATCH l Lovett finishes 6th at worlds:

B.C.'s Django Lovett finishes 6th in men's high jump final at worlds

4 months ago
Duration 1:33
Django Lovett places sixth in the men's high jump at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore. The Canadian cleared 2.27 on his first attempt but was unable to successfully jump at 2.30.

Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim was the only man to clear 2.37m, claiming the gold medal at worlds after winning Olympic gold a year ago in Tokyo. 

Woo Sang-hyeok of Korea set a national record by clearing 2.35m, securing silver. Andriy Oleksiyovych Protsenko of Ukraine cleared a season-best 2.33m to win bronze. 

Lovett started the final where he left off during qualifying, clearing his first jump of the evening at a height of 2.19m. He cleared the next height of 2.24m with ease and then followed it up with another perfect leap over a height of 2.27m. 

During qualifying, Lovett was perfect through four jumps and was just one of six men to clear 2.28m on the first attempt. That 2.28m mark matched Lovett's season-best height.

WATCH l Lovett secures spot in final:

B.C.'s Django Lovett qualifies for men's high jump final at World Athletics Championships

5 months ago
Duration 0:36
Django Lovett of Surrey, B.C. qualified for the men's high jump final, by clearing 2.28 metres at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

But with the height moving up in the final, Lovett was unable to clear 2.30m on his first attempt. In fact, only four of the remaining ten jumpers cleared the height on their first attempt.

Lovett nearly made it over on his second attempt at 2.30m but just touched the bar, enough to knock it over.

He clapped his hands trying to fire up the crowd prior to his last attempt, but was unable to clear the height. 

"I felt I belonged out there. I just need to clean things up to get to that next level," Lovett said. 

"I have so much support from my coaching staff. Everyone is working together and preparing me for something great. I don't think we saw it tonight but I know it's out there."

This second worlds appearance couldn't have been more different for Lovett compared to his debut three years ago in Doha.

Back then, he bowed out at a height of 2.22m, finishing 23rd and failing to advance out of qualifying. 

In his Olympic debut last summer, Lovett was able to get to the final, finishing 8th. 

Brown, Blake qualify for 200m semifinal

Canada's Jerome Blake and Aaron Brown both advanced to the men's 200-metre semifinal scheduled for Tuesday night. 

Blake, in the first heat of the night, came in third with a time of 20.30 seconds. The top three in each heat of the evening earned a direct spot into the semis.

Noah Lyles of the United States posted the fastest time in the heats, stopping the clock at 19.98.

It was somewhat of an adventure for Brown in the second heat of the night.

When the five-time 200m national champion went to blast out of the blocks at the sound of the gun, his blocks slid back and he fell to the track.

They immediately called the racers back and reset. After a few tense moments, Brown planted the blocks back into the track and composed himself.

He leaned on all of his experience to refocus and run the race. 

They got off cleanly the second time and Brown was able to finish second in the heat in a time of 20.60.

WATCH l Brown books spot in semifinal:

Toronto's Aaron Brown advances to 200m semifinals at world championships

4 months ago
Duration 4:08
Aaron Brown from Toronto places second in his heat with a time of 20.60 and books a spot in the men's 200m semifinals at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Despite his ability to compose himself and get the job done, Brown was at a loss when trying to explain what happened on his first launch. 

"I've never had that happen before," he told CBC Sports. 

"Blocks slid back. I'm not sure how. I put them in the ground and then I don't know, it just slipped."

Brown, who has already raced three times at worlds having competed in the 100m event, said the initial fall did jar him a bit.

"I had a little bit of cramp but I had to just focus on myself and make sure I got through this round," he said. 

WATCH l Blake qualifies with 3rd-place finish in heat:

Canada's Jerome Blake secures spot in 200m semifinals

4 months ago
Duration 2:29
Jerome Blake of Canada finishes his heat in third place with a time of 20.30 and advances to the men's 200m semifinals at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

On Sunday, Canada's six-time Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse withdrew from the 200m.

De Grasse, who is the reigning Olympic champion in the event, tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time less than three weeks ago.

He had been suffering from a number of symptoms, including shortness of breath. It forced him to miss nationals in Langley, B.C., at the end of June.

On Saturday, the 27-year-old from Markham, Ont., finished fifth in his semifinal heat in 10.21 and failed to qualify for the 100m final.

De Grasse does plan to compete in the 4x100m relay at the end of the event.

WATCH l Blake getting used to the grind of being a pro sprinter:

Jerome Blake getting used to the grind of being a pro sprinter

5 months ago
Duration 1:02
Canada's Jerome Blake talks about the difficulty in sprinting after accounting for variables like such as travel, and the mindset you need to compete your best.

Kipyegon wins women's 1,500m

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won her second world title at 1,500 metres on Monday in a time of 3 minutes, 52.96 seconds. She also has two Olympic titles.

Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay and Great Britain's Laura Muir, who matched Kipyegon stride for lung-busting stride until the last 300m, took silver and bronze, respectively.

The leaders went through 800m in 2.03 minutes, with the rest of the field flailing distantly in their wake. They stayed locked together through the bell but the Kenyan began to create daylight on the back straight and powered clear.

"I have to say I am thankful for my second gold medal," she said. "I knew it was going to be fast so I was well prepared for that. Now I really want to get a new PB (personal best)."

In the men's steeplechase final, Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali won pulling away to add a world gold to the gold he took in Tokyo last year. Tokyo silver medallist Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia also claimed silver in Eugene, while bronze went to Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto.

In the women's triple jump final, world record holder Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela romped to her third world title with a leap of 15.47 metres for a margin of .58 over Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts. Tori Franklin took bronze to bring the U.S. medal count up to 16 after four days of action.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devin Heroux

CBC reporter

Devin Heroux reports for CBC News and Sports. He is now based in Toronto, after working first for the CBC in Calgary and Saskatoon.

With files from The Associated Press & Reuters

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