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All spring Canadian sprint fans were concerned over the condition of Andre de Grasse due to apparent injury and a case of Covid. His performances were quite as competitive as he fans are accustomed to. On Day 1 of competition at the Eugene World Athletics Championships, he finished second in the first heat in the time of 10.12. Not fast, but heats are about moving on; placement. It was apparent that his start was a little slow, but he finished well.

Aaron Brown clocked a 10.06 during the prior heat. Both move on. Jerome Blake, who posted a time of 10.16 out of heat three, did not advance.

Fred Kerley raised eyebrows. The American sprinter charged to victory in his heat in the time of 9.79 — the fastest ever 100m heat time at a major championship, according to World Athletics. The 27-year-old earned silver in Tokyo in 9.84, he wants gold in Eugene. The Eugene performance is a new personal best.

Django Lovett

Django Lovett was one of 12 to advance to the high jump final. The Team Canada captain and Langley, B.C native finished the qualifying round in a four-way tie for first place. He cleared a 2.28m bar. He cleared every jump. It was a season’s best for Lovett, and only six centimetres short of the current world-leading jump of 2.34m, achieved by Ilya Ivanyuk earlier this year.

Lovett was powered by a special supporter who drove the eight hours from Langley to Oregon to see him: his mom. Knowing he had loved ones in the stands, he said, helped him accomplish his goal of incurring minimal misses through the qualifying round. Going into the final, he hopes to raise the bar once again.

“We had a plan and we executed it,” said the 30-year-old. “Now my objectives for the final are again to be clean through the rounds, to maintain composure, and to take it up.”

Lovett will appear in the high jump final on July 18 at 5:45 p.m. (PST).

Camryn Rogers

From Athletics Canada:

That’s roughly how long the fourth-ranked hammer thrower in the world needed to wait her turn, step inside the circle, and launch her implement for 73.67 metres on her first toss. There was no need to throw again: the mark was great enough to qualify her for the world final on Sunday at 11:35 a.m. (PST). Rogers, who holds the Canadian record of 77.67 metres, said she feels ready to challenge her personal best in the final, where she will get six shots at bettering herself, instead of just one.

“We went in the qualifying round with the plan to get it done on the first throw, and to come here and execute is everything,” she said. “Now the plan is to build on that and get a new PB – maybe that means walking away with a medal.”

Rogers was one of two Canadians to make it to the 12-women finale: her teammate and Team Captain Jillian Weir’s 72.00 metre throw secured her the ninth place and a spot on Sunday morning’s start list.

“Round one was a little timid, round two I got into the groove, and round three just messed up a little bit,” said Weir. “I knew round two was definitely better and I still think there is a lot more there. I try to remind myself hey, you made Tokyo, this is just another meet… trying to go in it level headed and keep calm.”