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Richmond, BC native (Greater Vancouver), Camryn Rogers earned Canada its first medal at the 2022 Eugene World Athletics Championships on Sunday.
The 23-year-old hammer thrower earned silver on her third toss of the day. Going in ranked fourth she was considered a strong medal threat.
The University of California Berkeley grad told Athletics Canada, “I feel so completely overwhelmed right now with emotion, but I am so happy,” said Rogers shortly after the conclusion of the six rounds.
“I am so motivated and so excited to be coming home with this medal. It shows every throw, every lift, this is what it leads to.”
Rogers fought back tears when asked about the significance of having her mother Shari in the crowd.
“She came down to the railing and gave me a huge hug and that’s when it hit me,” said Rogers. “When she wrapped her arms around me I started bawling on the spot.”
Team co-captain and fellow hammer thrower Jillian Weir finished fifth with a throw of 72.41m, which constituted her best performance at a World or Olympic-level event.
“Just to be a part of one of the best competitions, it’s a huge honour,” said Weir, who added making a technical adjustment of getting more speed in the ring helped her break 70 metres twice in the competition.
“In that third round, I said, you know what? I can throw over 70m. After my national championships when I had a PB of 73.12, I knew there was more in the tank – I had decent expectations.”
Cameron Levins and team
Cameron Levins said directly after finishing fourth in the marathon in the time of 2:07:09, “that was the race of my life.”
It was, and it came after training up to 170 to 180 miles per week — that’s 270 to 286kms per week.
The Black Creek, BC native (Vancouver Island) was already legendary for his 160-mile weeks.
Levins held the national 10,000m record for a period, breaking Regina native Simon Bairu’s best with his 27:07.51 performance at the old Hayward Field in Eugene, OR in 2015. St. Catharine’s Mo Ahmed has gone on to improve the record since. Levins competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, but injury and health got in the way of him running well toward the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which he missed.
He did break the national record in the marathon with his 2018 running in the time of 2:09:25 in Toronto, bettering the previous record which was 2:10:09. The old one stood for 43 years. Jerome Drayton, who set the record in Fukuoka, Japan was even getting tired of looking at the record.
Set on not missing Tokyo, Levins attempted to qualify for the Games in London but dropped out as well as Chandler, AZ at The Marathon Project in December 2020. At the 11th hour, the 31-year-old flew to Austria and ran just fast enough to qualify.
Tokyo may have been too much, and too hot and Levins had a rough go in the 34C (93F) temperatures.
Again set on a great performance he said that he worked on everything to run well in Eugene. One thing that may have helped was the temperate climate and being in the same time zone to where he lives. It was easily his best marathon where he smashed his own Canadian record of 2:09:25 with a 2:07:09 performance.
Fellow Canadian Rory Linkletter clocked a 2:10:24 personal best performance, finishing in 20th position. The 25-year-old’s previous best was 2:12:54 from the Chandler, AZ, The Marathon Project. Ben Preisner ran well too, clocking a 2:11:47 time and finishing 28th.
“Honestly the time is just a bonus,” Levins said between breaths after the race. “When I was there in the race I thought I am truly a marathoner I deserve to be here. It’s so cool to be able to compete at an international level like that, I haven’t really done that yet in my career.”
Minutes after his record-shattering run, Levins reflected on his training.
“I really changed a lot. I was one of the last people in the Olympics last year in the marathon, and I realized I had to be better across the board. I committed to a really great support system to be better in every conceivable way in training.”
“On the start line today,” he continued, “I was like ‘I’ve done everything that I possibly can, so whatever it’s going to be it’s going to be.’
“It was the best experience of my life as far as the race goes,” said Linkletter. “I put myself in it, got every once of my efforts out of the race, and feel really proud of this one.”