Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field·Diamond League

Crystal Emmanuel targets sprint double for 2019 world championships

Two days after clocking a world championship qualifying time in the women's 100 metres, Canada's Crystal Emmanuel will try to do the same in the 200 at the Diamond League's Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday (CBCSports.ca, 2 p.m. ET).

3-time defending Canadian champion racing 200m in Oslo fresh off season-best in 100

Crystal Emmanuel, who would like to run a sprint double at the track and field world championships in September at Doha, Qatar, has already reached the qualifying time in the 100 metres and is approaching the entry standard in the 200. (Chris Young/Canadian Press/File)

It has been a goal for some time and her recent performance and results suggest it is more than likely to happen, yet Crystal Emmanuel won't commit to running a sprint double at the track and field world championships later this year.

Among the factors in the decision at season's end will be her health, given that every nerve and muscle fibre matters to a sprinter, which event feels most comfortable to Emmanuel and the one her and coach Charles Allen believe would take her the furthest.

"Qualifying is not even a concern," Allen said Monday as Emmanuel prepared for the Diamond League's Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, that will be live streamed at CBCSports.ca on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET. "It's making sure she has the opportunity to compete against the best in the world to get some familiarity and get her time down in the top-five [range]."

On Tuesday, Emmanuel clocked a season-best and world qualifying time of 11.19 seconds in the 100 metres at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, falling just shy of the 11.15 entry standard for next year's Olympics in Tokyo.

After the Bislett Games, the two-time Olympian will race the 100 at a Diamond League event in Rabat, Morocco, on Sunday at 2:25 p.m.

The 27-year-old Emmanuel ran 23.14 in her season debut in the 200 at a Diamond League meet in Stockholm on May 30 and ranks 11th in the world in the event. But she has work to do to reach the women's world and Olympic standards of 23.02 and 22.80, respectively.

WATCH | Crystal Emmanuel talks of being among elite sprinters:

Emmanuel caught up with CBC Sports' Perdita Felicien after racing to a bronze medal in the women's 100m race at the NACAC Track and Field Championships. 0:50
Emmanuel finished her 2018 campaign with a season-best 22.67 for a bronze medal at the NACAC championships in her hometown of Toronto last August after breaking Marita Payne-Wiggins' 34-year-old Canadian record in July 2017 with a 22.50 PB in Ireland.

"It can be difficult if you think that way," said Emmanuel of juggling the 100 and 200. "It's about staying healthy, training hard and listening to your body. I raced both last year and did pretty good."

WATCH | Crystal Emmanuel reaches podium at NACAC championships:

The 26-year-old won her second medal in her hometown at the NACAC Championships in Toronto. 3:27

Last July in Ottawa, she achieved double gold at the Canadian championships for a third consecutive year after placing seventh in the women's 200 final at the 2017 world championships in London, England.

In recent workouts, Emmanuel has focused on the turn, or curve, and placing her knees in front to get better positioned entering the straightaway.

There is no limitation on this young lady. We look at her as one of the top 10 athletes in the world in the 200 metres.— Coach Charles Allen on Canadian sprinter Crystal Emmanuel
At the BAUHAUS-galan competition in Sweden, Allen was impressed by the sprinter's speed endurance and the fact Emmanuel didn't drop to one knee due to exhaustion after crossing the finish line.

Despite chilly and windy conditions in Sweden, he believes Emmanuel could have run faster than 23.14.

"Crystal has accomplished so much at this point," said Allen, noting her ability to sustain speed for a longer distance is crucial this season. "Our goal is to not just be in the final [at worlds] because she's done that, but be in the top five or top three. We'll have a good indicator where she's at come nationals [July 25-30 in Montreal]. Making sure she's peaking at the right time is crucial.

"In her attitude and when she comes prepared to race, there is no limitation on this young lady. We look at her as one of the top 10 athletes in the world in the 200 metres."

Emmanuel is scheduled to race at 3:40 p.m. in Oslo.

WATCH | Donovan Bailey on the responsibility of being the world's fastest man:

CBC Sports' track analyst discusses what sets it apart from other countries and the responsibility that comes with being the world's fastest man. 1:51

Bailey expects vintage Coleman in 100m

Christian Coleman returns to Diamond League action in the 100 metres for the first time since his photo finish with fellow American Noah Lyles on May 18 in Shanghai. Both men stopped the clock in 9.86 seconds, with Lyles getting the nod by 6-1000ths of a second.

CBC Sports analyst Donovan Bailey doesn't believe Lyles' comeback —  he wasn't a factor in the race until the 70-metre mark — will have a lasting effect on Coleman, the 2018 Diamond League Trophy winner.

"He might have held his middle phase a little long and didn't relax enough in the last 30 [metres] in Shanghai, but Christian is always a competitor, always ready, always consistent," Bailey said. "Unless the weather is bad [16C and light rain is forecasted in Oslo] I think he's going to get back to his race."

WATCH | Christian Coleman battles Noah Lyles to the line in Shanghai:

American Noah Lyles wins in a photo finish with a time 9.86 seconds. 3:08

Bailey believes the 23-year-old Coleman, who ran an indoor world-record 6.34 seconds over 60 metres in February 2018, can dip under 9.80 seconds outdoors this season in the 100. He clocked 9.79 at last year's Diamond League final.

Great Britain's Reece Prescod and Michael Rodgers of the United States are expected to challenge Coleman in the 3 p.m. race before a capacity crowd of 14,200 at Bislett Stadium.

The six-foot-four Prescod placed fourth in Shanghai in 9.97 while Rodgers won the 100 on Tuesday at the Paavo Nurmi Games, clocking a season-best 10.00 in Turku, Finland.

"Rodgers has never been a top-two, three-three level runner in the world but certainly has the potential," said Bailey. "Reece is green, raw, tall and lanky. He has the opportunity to get out [of the blocks] with Coleman and can certainly cover a lot more ground running at top speed, but Coleman's not afraid of him."

Diamond League on CBC Sports

CBC Sports is providing live streaming coverage of all 14 Diamond League meets this season at CBCSports.ca and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. TV coverage will be featured as part of the network's Road To The Olympic Games weekend broadcasts throughout the season.

The following is a list of upcoming Diamond League meets, all times ET:

  • Oslo (Thursday, 2–4 p.m.)
  • Rabat (Sunday, 2–4 p.m.)
  • Eugene (June 30, 4–6 p.m.)
  • Lausanne (July 5, 2–4 p.m.)
  • Monaco (July 12, 2–4 p.m.)
  • London, England (July 20 and 21, 9–11 a.m.)
  • Birmingham, England (Aug. 18, 9–11 a.m.)
  • Paris (Aug. 24, 2–4 p.m.)
  • Zurich (Aug. 29, 2–4 p.m.)
  • Brussels (Sept. 7, 2–4 p.m.)

About the Author

Doug Harrison has covered the professional and amateur scene as a senior writer for CBC Sports since 2003. Previously, the Burlington, Ont., native covered the NHL and other leagues for Faceoff.com. Follow the award-winning journalist @harrisoncbc

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