Athletics Canada

Athletics Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s athletics team nominated to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. A total of 57 athletes will represent the country in athletics, including 33 women and 24 men.

Members of Canada’s athletics team earned their nomination for Team Canada by achieving the entry standard during the qualification period, or by their World Rankings position as of July 1, 2021. The 47 athletes nominated today join 10 others who were previously nominated in the 10,000 metres, marathon and 50-kilometre race walk.

“I’m really excited to go to Tokyo. It’s crazy for me to think that I went to the Olympics in 2012, 2016 and now I’m getting ready for my third Olympic Games,” said Damian Warner, who heads to Tokyo as the top-ranked athlete in the men’s decathlon. “I couldn’t be more honoured to represent Team Canada and to go over to Tokyo with this talented group. I will have Pierce (LePage) with me in the decathlon, which will be awesome to have a teammate in the same competition. I’m just really looking forward to going over there and competing.”

“I’m really excited for these Games. I think the extra year really did us some good,” said Melissa Bishop-Nriagu, who finished fourth at Rio 2016 in the women’s 800 metres, the best finish by a Canadian in the event since 1928. “It’s going to be my third Olympic Games; I’m really looking forward to getting to Japan and being in the Olympic spirit. I feel like it’s been so long since we’ve been able to experience that, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Melissa Bishop-Nriagu

This Olympic year has been like no other. Athletes faced significant challenges, including restricted access to training facilities, inter-provincial travel bans and a mandatory 14-day quarantine period if they chose to travel outside of Canada to compete or train.

Head Coach Glenroy Gilbert praised the athletes for their resilience and unwavering commitment to see their Olympic dreams though under challenging circumstances. “Our team has shown a great deal of determination to get where we are today. When faced with adversity, these athletes rose to the occasion, performed on-demand and made the most of every opportunity they were given,” said Gilbert. “Athletics Canada is fielding a strong team, with significant depth in a number of events. In Tokyo, I’m confident that they will be at their very best and will make Canada proud.”

The Tokyo-bound squad includes 31 athletes with previous Olympic experience, including one three-time (Michael Mason) and six two-time (Mohammed Ahmed, Melissa Bishop-Nriagu, Aaron Brown, Elizabeth Gleadle, Gavin Smellie and Damian Warner) Olympians. They will be joined by 26 first-time Olympic team members. Malindi Elmore, at 41, is the oldest member of the Canadian team, while 21-year-old Lauren Gale is the youngest athlete on the athletics team heading to Tokyo.

Canada returned from Rio 2016 with six medals, the most since the 1932 Los Angeles Games (nine medals), including more than the five won at the 1984 Los Angeles boycotted Games. To go with the six podium finishes, the team registered a total of 13 Top 8 finishes, including four fourth, one sixth, one seventh and one eighth-place finish. Five Canadian records were broken in Rio, and eight athletes improved upon Canada’s best-ever finish at an Olympic Games in their respective events.

Leading the charge in the medal haul was then 21-year-old Andre De Grasse who won medals in the 100 metres (bronze), 200 metres (silver) and helped the men’s 4×100-metre relay team earn a bronze. De Grasse was the first Canadian sprinter since Percy Williams in 1932 to finish on the podium in both the 100 and 200 metres at the same Olympic Games. He was also the first athlete since Williams to win three medals at an Olympic Games.

“It’s always an honour to represent my country on the world stage,” said triple-Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse. “I’m really proud and excited to be going to my second Olympics Games. I look forward to making Canada proud.”

Andre De Grasse at Harry Jerome Track Classic. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Athletics Illustrated

“I’m ecstatic to make my second Olympic team,” said Geneviève Lalonde, who was the first Canadian to advance to the women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase final at Rio 2016. “Everyone dreams of being an Olympian once. I get to do it two times. That’s incredible and I never would have thought of that as a kid, so the kid inside me is shining brightly, like an Acadian star. I’m just so excited. It’s been a crazy year, and everyone knows that. It’s going to be a different Olympic Games. Even though our family and friends might not be there on the sidelines, they are there in our hearts. We’ll use that momentum to push us through to our top performances.”

Bad luck plagued the team at the 2017 World Championships in London, England, due to a combination of injuries and illness to the team’s medal threats, which resulted in Canada not winning any medals. However, they had a strong showing in Doha, Qatar, at the 2019 World Championships where they brought home five medals (one silver and four bronze) and a total of 15 Top 8 finishes – the most ever at a World Championships for Canada. De Grasse medalled in both the 100 and 200 metres. He was the only athlete in the world to accomplish that feat at the 2019 World Championships.

The team will convene in Gifu, Japan, on July 18 and will train at Nagaragawa Athletic Stadium before travelling into Tokyo (or Sapporo) approximately five days prior to an athlete’s first competition.

Athletics will take place from July 30 to August 8 (Day 10 to 19) at Tokyo Olympic Stadium, except the marathon and race walking events being held August 6 to August 8 (Days 17 to 19) at Sapporo Odori Park.

Genevieve Lalonde

“When they say faster, higher, stronger they must be talking about THIS team,” said Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission, Marnie McBean. “There are so many exciting stories among our athletics athletes – regardless of the challenges that COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders presented to them, they have come through being able to go faster, jump higher and be stronger than ever before. The stadium in Tokyo better buckle up … Team Canada is coming.”

The athletes nominated are:

  1. Mohammed Ahmed (St. Catharines, Ont.) – Men’s 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres (previously nominated in the 10,000 metres)
  2. Bolade Ajomale (Richmond Hill, Ont.) – Men’s 4×100-metre relay
  3. Marco Arop (Edmonton, Alta.) – Men’s 800 metres
  4. Mathieu Bilodeau (Quebec City, Que.) – Men’s 50-kilometre race walk (previously nominated)
  5. Khamica Bingham (Brampton, Ont.) – Women’s 100 metres
  6. Melissa Bishop-Nriagu (Eganville, Ont.) – Women’s 800 metres
  7. Jerome Blake (Kelowna, B.C.) – Men’s 4×100-metre relay
  8. Bismark Boateng (Brampton, Ont.) – Men’s 100 metres and 4×100-metre relay
  9. Aaron Brown (Toronto, Ont.) – Men’s 200 metres and 4×100-metre relay
  10. Alicia Brown (Ottawa, Ont.) – Women’s 4×400-metre relay
  11. Lucas Bruchet (Vancouver, B.C.) – Men’s 5,000 metres
  12. Alycia Butterworth (Parksville, B.C.) – Women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase
  13. Lindsey Butterworth (North Vancouver, B.C.) – Women’s 800 metres
  14. Kyra Constantine (Brampton, Ont.) – Women’s 400 metres and 4×400-metre relay
  15. Brittany Crew (Toronto, Ont.) – Women’s shot put
  16. Gabriela DeBues-Stafford (Toronto, Ont.) – Women’s 1500 metres
  17. Andre De Grasse (Markham, Ont.) – Men’s 100 metres, 200 metres and 4×100-metre relay
  18. Evan Dunfee (Richmond, B.C.) – Men’s 50-kilometre race walk (previously nominated)
  19. Georgia Ellenwood (Langley, B.C.) – Women’s heptathlon
  20. Malindi Elmore (Kelowna, B.C.) – Women’s marathon (previously nominated)
  21. Crystal Emmanuel (Toronto, Ont.) – Women’s 100 metres and 200 metres
  22. Lauren Gale (Ottawa, Ont.) – Women’s 4×400-metre relay
  23. John Gay (Vancouver, B.C.) – Men’s 3,000-metre steeplechase
  24. Elizabeth Gleadle (Vancouver, B.C.) – Women’s javelin throw
  25. Natalia Hawthorn (North Vancouver, B.C.) – Women’s 1500 metres
  26. Trevor Hofbauer (Burnaby, B.C.) – Men’s marathon (previously nominated)
  27. Matthew Hughes (Toronto, Ont.) – Men’s 3,000-metre steeplechase
  28. Madeleine Kelly (Pembroke, Ont.) – Women’s 800 metres
  29. Justyn Knight (Toronto, Ont.) – Men’s 5,000 metres
  30. Geneviève Lalonde (Moncton, N.B.) – Women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase
  31. Pierce LePage (Whitby, Ont.) – Men’s decathlon
  32. Cameron Levins (Black Creek, B.C.) – Men’s marathon (previously nominated)
  33. Django Lovett (Toronto, Ont.) – Men’s high jump
  34. Michael Mason (Nanoose Bay, B.C.) – Men’s high jump
  35. Brandon McBride (Windsor, Ont.) – Men’s 800 metres
  36. Natassha McDonald (Brampton, Ont.) – Women’s 400 metres and 4×400-metre relay
  37. Sarah Mitton (Brooklyn, N.S.) – Women’s shot put
  38. Noelle Montcalm (Windsor, Ont.) – Women’s 400-metre hurdles and 4×400-metre relay
  39. Timothy Nedow (Brockville, Ont.) – Men’s shot put
  40. Christabel Nettey (Surrey, B.C.) – Women’s long jump
  41. Anicka Newell (Saskatoon, Sask.) – Women’s pole vault
  42. Alysha Newman (Delaware, Ont.) – Women’s pole vault
  43. Dayna Pidhoresky (Tecumseh, Ont.) – Women’s marathon (previously nominated)
  44. Ben Preisner (Milton, Ont.) – Men’s marathon (previously nominated)
  45. Madeline Price (Toronto, Ont.) – Women’s 4×400-metre relay
  46. Brendon Rodney (Etobicoke, Ont.) – Men’s 200 metres and 4×100-metre relay
  47. Camryn Rogers (Richmond, B.C.) – Women’s hammer throw
  48. Andrea Seccafien (Guelph, Ont.) – Women’s 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres (previously nominated in the 10,000 metres)
  49. Gavin Smellie (Brampton, Ont.) – Men’s 100 metres and 4×100-metre relay
  50. Julie-Anne Staehli (Lucknow, Ont.) – Women’s 5,000 metres
  51. Lucia Stafford (Toronto, Ont.) – Women’s 1,500 metres
  52. Kate Van Buskirk (Toronto, Ont.) – Women’s 5,000 metres
  53. Damian Warner (London, Ont.) – Men’s decathlon
  54. Sage Watson (Medicine Hat, Alta.) – Women’s 400-metre hurdles and 4×400-metre relay
  55. Jillian Weir (Kingston, Ont.) – Women’s hammer throw
  56. Natasha Wodak (North Vancouver, B.C.) – Women’s marathon (previously nominated)
  57. Regan Yee (South Hazelton, B.C.) – Women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase

The coaches and team personnel nominated are:

  1. Glenroy Gilbert (Ottawa, Ont.) – Head Coach
  2. Charles Allen (Toronto, Ont.) – Coach
  3. Kurt Downes (Windsor, Ont.) – Coach
  4. Gerald Dragomir (Vancouver, B.C.) – Coach
  5. Geoff Harris (Halifax, N.S.) – Coach
  6. Jeffrey Hartwig (St. Charles, Mo.) – Coach
  7. Heather Hennigar (Victoria, B.C.) – Coach
  8. Jeff Huntoon (Toronto, Ont.) – Coach
  9. Richard Parkinson (Stouffville, Ont.) – Coach
  10. Larry Steinke (Lethbridge, Alta.) – Coach
  11. Michael Van Tighem (Summerland, B.C.) – Coach
  12. Simon Nathan (Ottawa, Ont.) – Team Leader
  13. Jessica Scarlato (Richmond Hill, Ont.) – Lead Team Manager
  14. Nicole Clarke (Kingston, Ont.) – Team Manager
  15. Yuichi Takahashi (Hokkaido, Kitahiroshima) – Team Manager
  16. Alfredo Villar Sbaffi (Montreal, Que.) – Team Manager
  17. Colin Whitmee (Antigonish, N.S.) – Team Manager
  18. Danielle Chow-Leong (Toronto, Ont.) – Massage Therapist
  19. Eric Corda (Sarnia, Ont.) – Massage Therapist
  20. Michael Koehle (Vancouver, B.C.) – Physician
  21. Marilou Lamy (North Vancouver, B.C.) – Physiotherapist
  22. Walter (Paddy) McCluskey (Victoria, B.C.) – Physician
  23. Chris Napier (Vancouver, B.C.) – Physiotherapist
  24. Simon Pearson (Victoria, B.C.) – Chiropractor
  25. Gareth Sandford (Victoria, B.C.) – Physiologist
  26. Duane Smith (Ottawa, Ont.) – Chiropractor
  27. Trent Stellingwerff (Victoria, B.C.) – Physiologist
  28. Andrea Stephen (Toronto, Ont.) – Physiotherapist
  29. Jennifer Sygo (Toronto, Ont.) – Nutritionist
  30. Dana Way (Winnipeg Beach, Man.) – Performance Analyst
  31. Penny Werthner (Calgary, Alta.) – Mental Performance Consultant

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.

The latest Team Canada Tokyo 2020 roster can be found here and the qualification tracker can be found here.