Derek Drouin and Elizabeth Gleadle advance to finals; Damian Warner in silver medal position after day 1 of decathlon

August 28, 2015 0

Athletics Canada

Christabel Nettey 4th in long jump final

Beijing, China – On day seven of the 2015 IAAF World Championships Derek Drouin from Corunna, Ont., qualified for the men’s high jump final and Elizabeth Gleadle of Vancouver, B.C., advanced to the women’s javelin final. Damian Warner had a great first day in the decathlon, he’s in the silver medal position with a score of 4530 points heading into day two of competition. Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., finished fourth in the women’s long jump final and Rachel Seaman of Peterborough, Ont., was 13th in the women’s 20-kilometres race walk.

Christabel Nettey finished fourth in the women’s long jump final with a best jump of 6.95-metres, just off her personal best and Canadian record of 6.99-metres. It was the first time since 1991 that all three medallists were over 7.00-metres. “I was feeling really well and confident, the fact that I couldn’t respond and move with the girls is really disappointing, fourth is really hard. I took a chance on my last jump; felt right away that it was a foul. I had a really good first jump (6.95m), hoping to build off of it, but I let some technical stuff get away. My goals were bigger than fourth place.”

Derek Drouin qualified for the men’s high jump final by clearing the auto-qualifying mark of 2.31-metres. Drouin had a clean scorecard with jumps over 2.17m, 2.22m, 2.26m, 2.29m and 2.31m to take the top spot in Group A. “The surface is really fast, I’ve had trouble with quick surfaces in the past. I struggled in the prelims in London (2012 Olympics), and Moscow (2013 Worlds), I came in today knowing that it may be a problem, but luckily it wasn’t. My clearance at 2.31m sets me up well in the final.”

Elizabeth Gleadle did not waste any time in women’s javelin qualifying. Her first throw in Group B measured 64.02-metres, exceeding the auto-qualifying mark of 63.50-metres. “I came here with a plan, throw far, and do it once. Then go home, eat, get some sleep and be ready for the final. I did it, everything is according to plan, all that mattered was getting into the final. I had a really good training camp with the team at Jeju Island leading into this.”

Damian Warner ran the second fastest time in the decathlon 100-metres, 10.31 for a score of 1020 points. In the long jump he set a personal best on his first jump of 7.65-metres, good for 972 points. Warner then established another personal best in the shot put, 14.44-metres to earn 755 points. In the high jump he recorded a seasonal best of 2.04-metres to earn 840 points. In the 400-metres, the final day one decathlon event, Damian ran 47.30 for 943 point.

Warner set a Canadian record at the Pan Am Games on his way to gold, his day one total score in Toronto was 4460 points, and he’s well ahead of that pace in Beijing with a score of 4530. “No complaints after the first day, I’m 70 points ahead of where I was in Toronto, I got the Canadian record there, there’s some events that I would have liked to go better, 400-metres being one of them. I’m in a great spot going into tomorrow, and just have to keep it going. All year my high jump has been off and on, mostly off, practices have been terrible but I was able to jump a pretty good height today, I was happy with that the most.”

Rachel Seaman placed 13th in the women’s 20-kilometres race walk in a time of 1:31:39. Seaman’s 13th place is the best finish ever in the event by a Canadian at the World Championships. The previous best was 20th recorded by Karen Foan in 2001. “I’m starting to get emotional, it’s all hitting me how it’s all coming together, I’m just really happy. I came in ranked 15th, I was really hoping to finish around my ranking, this is awesome for me, and I’m really thrilled. The heat didn’t feel that bad, I paced myself and hydrated properly, I was constantly dumping water on myself, I learned a lot at Pan Am Games.”

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Quebec, Que., tenth in the second semi-final of the men’s 1500-metres in 3:39.62, did not qualify for the final.  “Looking back at it, going from the third section of Payton Jordan in May to the semi-final at Worlds in August, that’s a pretty big season, I’m happy about it, would have been nice to make it to the final but I gave it my best, I don’t have what it takes yet.”

Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., raced to a seasonal best of 12.87 in the first semi-final of the 100-metre hurdles to place fifth. Top two her each semi-final and the top two fastest non auto-qualifier times advanced to the final. “I haven’t run under 13 (seconds) that often this year, ran it earlier in the year and have been struggling to find that form again. I’m at least happy that I ran a season’s best, I can feel it’s coming, I’m excited to run some more races. As I said earlier, it’s all about setting myself up for Rio.”

Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont, finished sixth in the third semi-final of the 100-metre hurdles in 13.00. She also did not advance to the final. “I was ready to go, unfortunately I hit a hurdle, I don’t know which one, and it totally took my momentum. By the time I got it back it was just too late. Disappointed I didn’t advance to the final. It’s all part of the comeback towards Rio, this is the first year (since birth of her son) that I actually trained from base season all the way through.”

Michael Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C., produced a best clearance of 2.26-metres and did not advance to the final. Mason ranked ninth in Group B qualifying. “I was feeling good, just some technical problems I really should have adjusted after my first attempt (at 2.29m), I wasted two attempts, was close on the third one. The height is not an issue, I just have to make those technical adjustments faster and trust myself, I didn’t do that today.”

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