Athletics Canada

Moscow – A number of Canadian athletes recorded strong performances on the first day of competition at the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Athletics. Today’s Canadian highlights in Moscow, Russia include a best ever finish by a Canadian at the World Championships by St. Catharines, Ont., Mohammed Ahmed.  Damian Warner of London, Ont., performed well in the first five of ten events in the decathlon to sit in fourth place while Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., and Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., advanced to the semi-finals of the 100-metres.

Mohammed Ahmed recorded the best-ever finish by a Canadian at the World Championships in the men’s 10,000-metres with his ninth-place finish in 27:35.76. “I was up there, top five for the last couple of laps, I don’t even know how I got up there. I was just trying to stay up there with those guys. It was great to run that fast with that kind of surging at a championship.” Ahmed credits his mindset and focus on the strong result, “I came in here thinking I was world-class, that everybody is beatable.”

Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C., placed 14th in the men’s 10,000-metres final in 27:47.89. “I’m not really in the shape I needed to be, wasn’t as ready to go as I need to be. I’m going to have to go back, have a good Fall and see what happens next year.” Levins adds, “I moved this year, had an illness issue for awhile, got married.  A lot of distractions took me away from training, I need to be better next year.”  He will race again on Tuesday in the 5000-metres.

In the decathlon, Damian Warner’s first day of competition featured a clocking of 10.43 (922pts) in the 100-metres, 7.39-metres in the long jump (908pts), 14.23-metres in the shot put (742pts), 2.05-metres in the high jump (850pts), and 48.41 seconds in the 400-metres (889pts). “Okay result going into tomorrow, I was expecting to be a few more spots ahead and have a few more points. But I’m still in contention, come out tomorrow and fire on all cylinders.”  He will complete day two of the decathlon tomorrow with the 110-metre hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500-metres.

In the heats of the men’s 100-metres Aaron Brown placed second in heat 5 in 10.15 seconds to auto-qualify for tomorrow’s semi-finals. “The first round is always the hardest, I wanted to get the jitters out and the rust off.  I felt like I did that. Moving forward I’m confident I can drop my time and get into the final.” Brown adds, “I’ve had a long year (NCAA season) but I’m not one to use excuses, everyone has their own story. I’m going to leave it all on the track tomorrow.”

Gavin Smellie also auto-qualified for the semis by finishing third in heat number 2 in 10.30 seconds. “I’m really happy I was able to come out and qualify for the next round, being top three, that was the most important part. My experience at previous Worlds has taught me to come out, not get distracted, not get star-struck and just execute.

Sam Effah raced to a time of 10.21 in a very fast heat to place fifth. “I went out there and did the best I can today. Hopefully, it was enough to get through on time. I wanted to put a really good effort in.” Effah did not advance to the semi-finals.

In the women’s marathon Lanni Marchant of London, Ont., placed 44th in a time of 3:01:54. Krista Duchene of Brantford, Ont., dropped out after the 10-kilometre marker. Duchene on her race, “At 13km I went for my fluid bottle and just literally collapsed. I mean like 50 percent of the field didn’t finish so when I found that out I felt a little better about it.”  Conditions weren’t ideal as the mid-afternoon sun was hot and temperatures soared.  Duchene adds, “2 p.m. in August for a marathon is a little ridiculous, but I hate to use the weather as an excuse.  My faith is strong, I’m humbled but will learn from this.”

Overall 25 women did not finish the grueling race. Marchant hung in tough and put her best effort forward for a strong finish. At 30-kilometres she was 15th with a time of 1:49:43. “My calf went, my shins were tingling, I didn’t even realize it until my leg gave out at about 20km.  I was thinking, I’m feeling fantastic, this is going to be my race; then we went around one of those bends and it just gave out.” Marchant adds, “The last 8km I walked most of it, it’s frustrating but I wanted to finish.  Was hoping the cramping would go away, that just didn’t happen.”

Alicia Brown of Ottawa, Ont., finished fifth in heat 3 of the women’s 400-metres. “I just didn’t feel right coming out of the blocks, I tried to pick it up from there, didn’t execute. My objective was to get into the semis, knew I had to run close to my personal best to get there.” Brown will now turn her focus to the 4×400-metres later this week, “I am looking forward to the 4×400-metres to redeem myself.”

Anthony Romaniw of Hamilton, Ont., was sixth in heat six of the first round of the 800-metres in 1:47.98 and did not advance to the semis. “It didn’t go well, but good to get this experience. I was trying to feel out when the right time was to go, just wasn’t there today. It happens. All in all not upset with my season, I’ll get over this race, get back to Guelph; work even harder.”

In men’s pole vault qualifying Shawnacy Barber of Toronto, Ont., finished 16th in Group A with a mark of 5.40-metres. “It’s been a great experience to jump with all these guys, very inspirational.  I just wanted to compete well, give it my all.  Didn’t come in with any expectations, I’m going to stay positive.”  Barber adds, “My season isn’t over, still have Pan American Juniors (end of August) and Jeux de la Francophonie (beginning of September).”

Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., recorded a best jump of 6.47-metres in Group B of women’s long jump qualifying, she does not advance to the final. “I thought I was going to do a lot better, I felt great, my preparation was really good. I guess it just wasn’t my day. I have so much more to learn and so much more to give. It was a great learning experience.”

Day 2 Canadian competition schedule

Name Hometown Event Local time Eastern time
Damian Warner London, ON Decathlon – 110mH 9:05 a.m. 1:05 a.m.
Damian Warner London, ON Decathlon – Discus 11:20 a.m. (Group B) 3:20 a.m. (Group B)
Kate Van Buskirk Toronto, ON 1500m – heats 10:30 a.m. 2:30 a.m.
Sheila Reid Newmarket, ON 1500m – heats 10:30 a.m. 2:30 a.m.
Nicole Sifuentes Winnipeg, MB 1500m – heats 10:30 a.m. 2:30 a.m.
Damian Warner London, ON Decathlon – pole vault 1:05 p.m. 5:05 a.m.
Inaki Gomez Vancouver, BC 20km race walk 5:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m.
Benjamin Thorne Kitimat, BC 20km race walk 5:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m.
Damian Warner London, ON Decathlon – javelin 5:15 p.m. (Group A) 6:30 p.m. (Group B) 9:15 a.m. (Group A) 10:30 a.m. (Group B)
Aaron Brown Toronto, ON 100m – Semis 7:05 p.m. 11:05 a.m.
Gavin Smellie Etobicoke, ON 100m – Semis 7:05 p.m. 11:05 a.m.
Damian Warner London, ON Decathlon – 1500m 8:35 p.m. 12:35 p.m.
*Aaron Brown Toronto, ON 100m – FINAL 9:50 p.m. 1:50 p.m.
*Gavin Smellie Etobicoke, ON 100m – FINAL 9:50 p.m. 1:50 p.m.

*Requires qualification from semi-final

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