© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated
The 2015 Toronto Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games came to an end today with the 50-kilometre race-walk and the closing ceremonies featuring Kanye West, Serena Rider and Pitbull. Kanye’s mic failed so he threw it into the air and let it smash to the stage, while walking off. The closing ceremonies were highlighted by and exciting fireworks display.
The games were a success for Canada across the range of sports, specifically in athletics. Despite there being injuries to key athletes, Canada still broke their own record for number of medals with a final tally of 217, finishing second the US and well ahead of Brazil.
Overall Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 103 81 81 265
2 Canada 78 69 70 217
3 Brazil 41 40 60 141
1 United States 13 14 14 41
2 Canada 11 7 8 26
3 Cuba 5 3 1 9
Some of the key performances on Saturday, the final full day of competition, included silver and a bronze medal for Winnipeg’s Nicole Sifuentes and Toronto’s Sasha Gollish in the 1500m distance event.
Sifuentes earned a bronze medal during the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships. She is one of Canada’s best middle-distance runners and owns a personal best of 4:04.65. Gollish is an Olympic distance triathlete and middle-distance runner. Her 1500m performances have improved greatly during 2015, her best, which was achieved this season is 4:07.08.
The race was won by Muriel Coneo of Colombia in the time of 4:09.05. Sifuentes finished in 4:09.13 and Gollish crossed the line in 4:10.11. Sifuentes and Coneo battled hard over the final 200m, right to the line, neither giving up in effort, it was a very close race.
Also on the day, two of Canada’s high jumpers competed and ended up winning gold and silver medals. Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ontario, already Canada high jump records holder won the event with his best performance on the day of 2.37m a season’s best for him, while Mike Mason from Nanoose Bay, BC on Vancouver Island managed to go as high as 2.31m. Third place went to Donald Thomas of the Bahamas with his jump of 2.28m.
Canada’s women earned bronze in the 4 x 100m relay, finishing in the time of 43.00 behind second place Jamaica running 42.68, while the US finished in 42.58. The four members of the Canadian team are Crystal Emmanuel of Scarborough, Ontario, Kim Hyacinthe from Terrebonne, Quebec, Jellisa Westney from Cambridge, Ontario, and Khamica Bingham from Brampton, Ontario.
Later on in the day Canada’s women did it again, this time in the 4 x 400m relay. The finish order was the same with the US winning in the time of 3:25.68, Jamaica finishing in 3:27.27 and Canada with their finish time of 3:27.74, which was a season best performance.
Markham, Ontario’s Sarah Wells earned a second medal in these Pan Am Games. The 25-year-old helped Team Canada’s 4 x 400m relay teammates earn bronze, they are, Sage Watson of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Taylor Sharpe from Scarborough, Ontario and Humboldt, Saskatchewan’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton.
The United States won with a time of 3:25.68 and Jamaica earned silver in 3:27.27. Canada clocked in at 3:27.74, a season best.
The men took first place in the 4 x 100m, however were disqualified for stepping on the inside line of their line. A protest was put forth by Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil as well as the US and the officials made the decision to strip Canada of their gold medal two hours later.
This allowed the slower US to move up to gold, Brazil to silver and Trinidad and Tobago to bronze.
It appears that Gavin Smellie stepped on the line. Athletics Canada’s head coach took the news with sportsmanship saying, “It’s disappointing but this happens all the time, it’s part of the game.”
The truth of the matter is there was no significant time benefit for Canada as the US was back far enough, with a finish time of 38.27 to Canada’s 38.06. The four Canadian competitors are all from Ontario, they are Smellie, from Brampton, Andre De Grass of Markham, Brendon Rodney of Brampton and Aaron Brown of Toronto. Their performance was a Pan Am Games record before the disqualification.
Full results are available here: