By Mathieu Gentes, Athletics Canada
LONDON, UK – Seven Canadian track and field athletes qualified into their respective events semi final round on day four of athletics competition at the Olympic Games.
Geoff Harris of Halifax, N.S., qualified for the men’s 800-metres semi final placing second in one of the fastest heats. He clocked a new personal best of 1:45.97. “That was a nice comfortable race, there’s definitely more there. I’ve got another gear for sure. Speed wise I can run with best.” He adds, “I want to go out there and get another personal best, I’ve had a great season, just want to keep it rolling.” The semi final is set for tomorrow at 19:55 local time (14:55 eastern time).
It was three for three in the women’s sprint hurdles earlier this morning as Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont., and Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., all qualified for tomorrow’s semi final.
George finished second in her heat to automatically qualify for the semi final, clocking 12.83 seconds. “It was ok, I got out really well. I left a lot on the track, got the rust off, I can go a lot faster.”
Holder finished fifth in her heat in a time of 12.93 seconds. She qualified for the semi final by way of the second fastest time. “Wasn’t my best race or start, I’ll get through on time and fine tune some things for the semis.”
Zelinka, coming off a seventh place finish in the women’s heptathlon, clocked 12.75 seconds for second place in her heat. “I wasn’t going for time, wanted top 3 to move into the semis. This morning was like, hey body you aren’t done yet. I followed the same routine and rhythm, but I knew my time would be slower.”
In the women’s 200-metres Crystal Emmanuel of Scarborough, Ont., finished fifth in her heat in a time of 23.10 seconds. Emmanuel takes to the 200-metre semi final tomorrow at 20:25 local time (15:25 eastern time). “I started to tighten up a bit in the last 50-metres, but I’m really happy to be through on time. I was right with her (Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce) so I hope to do better tomorrow.”
Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Man., and Hilary Stellingwerff of Sarnia, Ont., both qualified into the women’s 1500-metres semi finals. Nicole finished seventh in heat 3 while Hilary placed sixth in heat 1 in 4:05.70 and 4:07:65 respectively. The semi finals are set for Wednesday August 8th at 19:45 local time (14:45 eastern time).
Nicole on her race “It was pretty slow to start but I felt good. I knew I need to really kick it in the last 200m. I’m really happy to get through and extend my Olympic experience.”
Hilary comments on her race “I was really nervous coming in but I felt the Canadian love out there. It was a battle, time wasn’t important, just the tactics. I took a few scratches. Dave Scoot-Thomas (coach) said to ensure I had a lane with 400-metres left, that’s what I did. Relieved I got one down, now time to get ready for the next round.”
Sarah Wells of Unionville, Ont., finished eighth in her semi-final heat stopping the clock at 56.71 seconds and did not advance to the final.
In the women’s shot put Julie Labonté of St. Justine, Que., finished 11th in group A qualifying with a best mark of 17.48-metres. She did not advance to the final which was won by Ostapchuk Nadzeya of Belarus.
Canadians track and field athletes in action on day 5
Liz Gleadle – Javelin – Qualifying
Shelia Reid – 5000m – Heat 2
Aaron Brown, Tremaine Harris, Jared Connaughton – 200m – Heat 2 – 200m – Heat 5 – 200m – Heat 7
Derek Drouin, Michael Mason – High Jump – Final
Nikkita Holder, Jessica Zelinka, Phylicia George – 100mh
Geoff Harris – 800m – Semi final 3
Crystal Emmanuel – 200m – Semi final
Jessica Zelinka *, Nikkita Holder *, Phylicia George * – 100m Hurdles – Final
*pending earlier qualification
For the latest news, schedule and results visit www.london2012.athletics.ca. You can follow all the action live on Twitter (@athleticscanada) and Facebook (CanadaTrackandField).
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