Athletics Canada

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Moscow – Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., is in a familiar position. Like teammate Damian Warner who won bronze yesterday in the decathlon, Theisen-Eaton sits in fourth place after day one of her combined events competition at the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Moscow, Russia. The heptathlon will resume and conclude tomorrow.  Other Canadian day three highlights included Alex Genest of Lac-aux-Sables, Que., and Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., advancing to the final of the 3000-metres steeplechase. The last time a Canadian was in a World Championship steeplechase final was in 1991 when Graeme Fell raced to a 14th place finish in Tokyo.

“I would have liked it to go a little bit better today, it was solid throughout, but I’m disappointed with my 200-metres,” said Theisen-Eaton. “I got sick on Saturday morning, managing that has been stressful. No excuses though, going to come out swinging tomorrow. I was limiting my warm-ups today to not get exhausted.”

After husband Ashton Eaton of the United States won gold yesterday in the decathlon, Brianne Theisen-Eaton opened her heptathlon competition in the 100-metre hurdles by posting the fastest time of 13.17 seconds for 1099 points. In her second event, the high jump, she had the sixth best performance out of 33 competitors with a mark of 1.83-metres for 1016 points. Her best throw in the shot put measured 13.07-metres for 732 points. Theisen-Eaton finished off day one of the two-day heptathlon with a clocking of 24.18 seconds in the 200-metres, good for 963 points.

Matthew Hughes set a personal best by almost five seconds in the first heat of the 3000-metres steeplechase to qualify for Thursday’s final. “I was confident, did the work all season, I’ve been ready to run that fast all year, just needed the right race. I was able to stay near the front and stay out of trouble.” His time of 8:16.93 was good for second place in heat one. “I feel like I can run with pretty much anybody in the world, I really wasn’t worried about splits or time, it was all about competing.”

A little controversy surrounded Alex Genest in the second heat but when all was said and done he qualified for the final with a time of 8:24.56. “This is crazy, I don’t know what to say, ten years ago I made my first national team in this event (2003 World Youth Championship, Sherbrooke, QC), and now my first major championship international final… amazing.”

A few minutes after his result came up Genest was disqualified by one of the race officials due to a lane infringement (rule 163.3). Athletics Canada launched an official appeal, video review proved to be inconclusive and Genest was re-instated and advanced to the final. The IAAF’s official response to the appeal, “The decision of the Jury of Appeal is to re-instate athlete 251 Alex Genest of Canada. Having watched the video closely there is no evidence of the infringement reported by the judge.” Genest says, “No words can express how satisfied I am, I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished over these last ten years to get to this point. This is very special.”

Chris Winter of Vancouver, B.C., was eighth in the third heat of the 3000-metres steeplechase in a time of 8:29.36; he did not advance to the final. “This is my first major championship, I knew in the right race I could probably make the final even if I came in ranked as low as I was. I established a great position early on, knew it was going to come down to the last kilometre, I ended up eighth, only one second off my personal best.” He adds, “I’m pleased, to be able to do that on this stage, I mean I really wanted a personal best. I put everything I had into it.”

Noelle Montcalm of Windsor, Ont., was eighth in her heat of the 400-metre hurdles in a time of 57.50 seconds. She did not qualify for the semi-final. “I’m disappointed, got out really well but hit far too many hurdles, that’s what threw me off around hurdles five, six and seven.” Montcalm adds, “The result is disappointing but competing on this stage against this talent is an experience in itself, I can take that away.”


Team Canada schedule – Tuesday August 13


Name Hometown Event Local time Eastern time
Brianne Theisen-Eaton Humboldt, SK Heptathlon – long jump 9:30 a.m. 1:30 a.m.
Derek Drouin Corunna, ON High jump qualification 9:50 a.m. 1:50 a.m.
Michael Mason Nanoose Bay, BC High jump qualification 9:50 a.m. 1:50 a.m.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton Humboldt, SK Heptathlon – javelin Group A 11:10 a.m. / Group B 12:25 p.m. Group A 3:10 a.m. / Group B 4:25 a.m.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton Humboldt, SK Heptathlon – 800m 8:10 p.m. 12:10 p.m.
Nicole Sifuentes Winnipeg, MB 1500m – Semi #1 8:40 p.m. 12:40 p.m.
Kate Van Buskirk Toronto, ON 1500m – Semi #2 8:51 p.m. 12:51 p.m.