Jesse Austin Photos: Brandon McBride

© Copyright – 2016 – Athletics Illustrated

Canada has plenty of emerging talent in the sport of athletics. Much of it was on display during the 2016 Canadian Track and Field Championships and Rio Olympic Trials in Edmonton.

Brandon McBride in the 800-metre event is looking to take the mantel from the retired Gary Reed as a serious medal threat and Canada’s fastest in the distance. The 21-year-old is already the second fastest Canadian all-time, behind Reed.

Reed owns the national record of 1:43.68. He won a silver medal in the 2007 IAAF Osaka World Track and Field Championships and finished a heart-breaking fourth during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; it was a near photo finish performance.

In April this year McBride, the Windsor native, while representing the Mississippi State Bulldogs, ran a world-leading time of 1:44.63. He ran his new personal best in a meet in Starkville, Miss. The performance represents the Mississippi State record.

That result was faster than the Rio Olympic standard of 1:46.00 that he needed to eclipse to provisionally qualify for Team Canada. The next step would be to finish first or second in Edmonton at Foote Field. He took care of that too.

He won the final during the national championships today in the time of 1:45.25 over Guelph’s Anthony Romaniw, who finished in the time of 1:46.19. Romaniw was the only other athlete in that event to run under the standard during the qualification period.

“I’m extremely happy with my performance. It’s a big deal to officially punch my ticket to Rio!” said McBride. He added, “…so emotional. I look forward to racing the best in the world [in Rio].”

McBride, Brandon Windsor Legion T&F 1:45.25
Romaniw, Anthony Speed River T&F 1:46.19
Heppenstall, Robert Monte Cristo T&F 1:46.78
Bellemore, Corey U of Windsor 1:47.91
Restall, Brendon Uvic Track Club 1:48.91
Smart, Sacha U of Toronto 1:50.47
Harris, Geoffrey Halifast Athletics 1:50.60
Ullman, Alex U of Windsor 1:52.95