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Bishop_FlashVictoria2015© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

The women’s 800-metre event at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Edmonton next week will be yet another interesting race for this crew.

Since May 30th, when Langley, BC’s Fiona Benson ran a seven-plus second personal best at the Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series, the landscape has shifted for the 800m women in Canada.

Over a two week period Benson went from having a personal best of 2:08.54 to 2:01.58, 2:01.48, 2:01.02 then 1:59.94 – to become just the fifth Canadian in history to crack the two minute barrier. She has run the fastest time in Canada this season.

At this time all Benson, Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith need to do is finish top-three at the national championships and they are off to the races in Beijing; the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in August.Smith_flashJerome2015

Bishop and Smith were the third and fourth women to break the two minute barrier. They are both London Olympians.

This spring Bishop has had limited racing due to an ankle injury, “I just need the top-three finish. My ankle is much better and I’ve been able to get some good workouts in leading up to Nationals. I am looking forward to defending the title and earning a spot on the world team,” shared Bishop.

Smith and Bishop did manage to slip into the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games by being the second and third fastest Canadians this season. Only two athletes can go, but in a cruel twist of fate, Benson failed to announce her intentions by the time the final date for declaring had passed and is not going to compete in Toronto.

Benson_FlashVictoria2015Bishop, Smith and Benson all still need to finish top-three at Nationals; however, there are several women looking to usurp the trio. They are Karine Belleau-Béliveau who is seeded with a 2:01.46 and just behind her is Annie LeBlanc at 2:01.87 and Victoria’s Rachel Francois seeded with her best time to date of 2:02.18.

The entire entry list can be viewed here.

Nationals will be streamed at

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