© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated

The track and field portion of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games got off to a great start for Canada’s athletes beginning with Perth, Ontario’s Sultana Frizell who won gold in the hammer throw event. She entered the games as the defending Commonwealth Games champion from her gold medal winning performance that took place during the 2010 Delhi games. She set the Commonwealth Games record Sunday with the distance of 68.92m

Earlier this season she broke her own Canadian record of 75.73m. She threw 71.97m on Monday to break her own Commonwealth Games record. She wanted to better the Canadian record in Glasgow, however, is happy to defend her title wearing her Canadian uniform. While training in Portugal, in preparation for the games, she was without her equipment, so practiced throwing with a competitor’s hammer and in her bathing suit. She said, “I was without my underwear for about six days.”

On July 10th at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver at the Harry Jerome Track Classic Dylan Armstrong was presented with the bronze medal from the 2010 IAAF World Track and Field Championships. He moved up in standings, as one of the competitors, Andre Mikhnevich of Belarus who finished ahead of him at that meet was sanctioned for taking performance enhancing drugs.

The Belarussian had all of his results expunged in 2013 after the IAAF tested samples taken at the 2005 IAAF World Track and Field Championships and found that Mikhnevich and four other athletes were guilty of using PEDS.

Armstrong needs surgery on his throwing elbow, so is not in the 2014 games, however, fellow Canadian Tim Nedow won the bronze medal Monday. He threw 20.59m. O’Dayne Richards of Jamaica threw a Games-record 21.61m for gold, while Tom Walsh of New Zealand was second with his put of 21.19m. Armstrong owns the national record of 22.21.

Tuesday, Canada had another big day on the track, this time with a gold medal from Canadian Decathlon champion Damian Warner. He ran the 100m in 10.29 to start things off, which is a new games record for the 100m within the decathlon event. Britain’s Daley Thompson previously held the record. Warner finished with an impressive 8282 points to capture the gold medal.

Kate Van Buskirk of Toronto, Ontario won the bronze medal in the 1500m distance, while teammate Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Manitoba finished fourth. Van Buskirk’s  time was 4:09.41. It appeared to be a tactical race as Van Buskirk required a big kick to gain third position in an otherwise somewhat modest time.

Sifuentes won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championship on March 9, 2014, which took place in Sopot, Poland.

Before entering the Commonwealth Games Van Buskirk was already enjoying her best season to date as she had run personal bests in the 800m distance with her 2:02.62. She ran a best time of 4:06.97 for the 1,500m distance this spring as well as her performance at the 2014 Harry Jerome Track Classic was also a best with her 4:28.08 mile (1,609m) time. She rebounded nicely after not finishing the 1,500m race at the Victoria Track Classic, two nights before, due to asthma.

In Europe, shortly before the games she had taken down her long chased goal of cracking the 4:06 barrier, by running 4:05.38 in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium at their track meet called, KBC Night of Athletics on July 19th. The 27-year-old has twice competed in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships as well as the IAAF World Track and Field Championships, so is no stranger to international competition and the pressures that accompany high-level competition.

Canada won a second hammer throw gold medal to cap off the evening when Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s Jim Steacy won with his 74.16m throw. Nicholas Miller of England finished second with a 72.99m throw and Mark Dry of Scotland took bronze with his 71.64m.
Steacy, with tears in his eyes, dedicated the gold to his mother Debby who died suddenly in April of 2014.