© Copyright – 2022 – Athletics Illustrated

Many of the favourites and expected top performers have not been able to win, while some have. It’s why the meets take place because anything can and usually does happen. For example, Jake Wightman of Great Britain & Northern Ireland beat Norway’s Jacob Ingebrigtsen in the 1500m. He felled a giant. Camryn Rogers earned Canada’s first-ever medal at Worlds in a women’s field event, in the hammer throw. All six of Canada’s marathon runners did better than expected. The other side of that is the sub-par performances by Andre de Grasse. Coming out of injury and Covid for de Grasse, the fitness just wasn’t there.

Picking up the slack may be Edmonton native Marco Arop, who ran the fastest time in the semi-finals at 1:44.76. Arop’s personal best is the second fastest performance by a Canadian behind only McBride. The 23-year-old clocked the 800-metre as fast as 1:43.26 in Monaco, last June.

The question is, after running so fast in the semis, will he be fresh enough in the final. The 800m is possibly the most competitive event. Anyone in the final can win if the circumstances present themselves in their favour.

Brandon McBride

Heat three of six in the 800m qualifying round had no shortage of drama. Toronto native Brandon McBride found himself where no half-miler ever wants to be: lying on the track with 600m left to run. He fell to the ground when jostling for position with American Bryce Hoppel, Jamaican Navasky Anderson, and others barely 200m into the race.

“It all happened so fast. [There was] a lot of pushing and a lot of shoving. It can easily throw the rhythm off, and the 800m is a race of rhythm,” said McBride after his heat.

“I was in shock — the first thing that went through my mind was ‘finish the race’ in case there would be a protest and I could get pushed into the next round. I don’t know what the process of that would look like, but that’s what I’m hoping.”

The two-time Olympian crossed the line in 1:57.43.

“It’s just unfortunate because I’d really like to showcase my fitness – let’s just hope I get an opportunity to do that.”

Liz Gleadle

Liz Gleadle of Vancouver has arguably has the smoothest javelin form of all athletes at the World Athletics Championships. While some athletes find themselves projected past the foul line, or face down on the track to throw 50-65m, Gleadle, snaps the javelin like she is throwing a 70-yard touchdown pass. It’s a thing of beauty.

Wednesday, she got herself into the final.

She is an 11-time Canadian champion and four-time World Championships, competitor. Gleadle entered this year’s competition with great momentum as she has thrown over 60m in each of her last five contests.

She extended that streak by one in the javelin qualifying round, throwing for 60.38 metres, good enough for third in her section.

“I’m pretty happy with 60.38,” she said after the competition. “The next steps are to give my parents a hug, going to go talk to my coach and make some technical adjustments, rest and hydrate, and watch the men’s qualifying to get inspired and get excited.”

Gleadle took part in the World Championship finals in 2015 and 2017, in which she finished 11th and 12th respectively. This year, she ranks seventh going into the final.

Storyline to follow:

Aaron Brown chases Canada’s second medal in the 200m final at 7:50 p.m PST, 10:50 p.m. EST, or 3:50 a.m. GMT.

Marco Arop races the men’s 800m semi, while Maddy Kelly, Addy Townsend and Lindsey Butterworth compete in the women’s 800m heats.

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot and Moh Ahmed come back to the track to race in the men’s 5,000m heats at 6:10 p.m. PST, 9:10 p.m. EST, or 2:10 a.m. GMT.