It was another great day for Team Canada at the IAAF World Championships with another large group of athletes advancing through the rounds. Leading the way was Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., who set a Canadian record in the women’s 800-metre semis to advance to the final. Bishop’s time of 1:57.52 improved Diane Cummins’ Canadian record of 1:58.39 set in 2001. Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., advanced to the women’s long jump final with a leap of 6.79-metres, surpassing the auto-qualifying mark of 6.75-metres.
Also advancing was Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Quebec City into the men’s 1500-metres semis, and Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont., and Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., into the women’s 100-metre hurdles semi-finals.
Melissa Bishop broke the Canadian record with a time of 1:57.52, a two-second personal best, to win semi-final 3 of the women’s 800-metres and advance to the final. “I need to call Diane (previous record holder), I’m fairly excited, I need to start preparing for the final, it’s all exiting and really fun. I didn’t see it until the time came up on the screen, I have been sitting on this for so long, just needed to be in the right race.”
Christabel Nettey recorded a best leap of 6.79-metres on her third attempt, going over the auto-qualifying mark of 6.75-metres, in women’s long jump qualifying to place third in Group B and advance to tomorrow’s final. “A little nerves after the second jump, but I’ve been closing on my last jumps all season, took the tips from my coach and make the adjustments. I’m going to go out there (in the final), keep executing like I have all season and have fun.” The previous best finish by a Canadian at the World Championships in the women’s long jump was Ruky Abdulai, 15 in 2009.
Charles Philibert-Thiboutot placed seventh in the second heat of the men’s 1500-metres, just missing auto-qualification by one spot. He did however advance to the semi-finals based on his time of 3:39.72. “It feels good, how you advance doesn’t matter, just make it through, and be ready for the next round. I know I can be real competitive tomorrow, even though I was on the brink today. It was fun, I feel like I was prepared for that kind of atmosphere, the Diamond Leagues this year helped in being ready for this kind of stage.”
Phylicia George was fifth in heat 4 of the 100-metre hurdles in 13.03 advancing to the semi-finals on time. “I thought I would have been in the top four, and sub 13 seconds, my start through me off, from there I was just trying to work my way back in, it wasn’t good at all. I’m looking to build on what I have done so far this season, get faster each round. It hasn’t been the greatest season, trying to get things back to a decent place so that Rio will be good next year.”
Nikkita Holder placed second in heat 5 to auto-qualify for the semi-finals with a time of 12.86. “I was hoping for a little faster, but I can’t complain with 12.86. It’s not a 13 (seconds) so I am happy about that. I feed off of the big crowd. We’ve been working on my speed to the first hurdle, and the last practice I felt awesome.”
Fiona Benson of Dawson Creek, B.C., ran a personal best of 1:59.59 placing fifth in the second semi-final of the women’s 800-metres. “If you PB you can’t complain, I learned that my tactics need some work, I know I have more in there, looking forward to going out there and chasing it down.”
Sekou Kaba of Ottawa, Ont., placed seventh in the first semi-final of the 110-metre hurdles in 13.58 and did not advance to the final. “I didn’t just hit the hurdles, I ran through all of them. I got out extremely well, surprised myself, which is why I couldn’t keep up, the future is bright, I am looking forward to it. I got out way faster than I am typically used to, hence the hurdle clipping. That’s my third or fourth fastest time all-time. It has been an awesome experience, every heat, every competitor is a threat, now I need to learn to manage speed that I haven’t been used to.”
Jonathan Cabral of Peribonka, Que., ran a personal best of 13.37 in the second 110-metre hurdles semi-final to place fourth. Only two from each semi automatically advanced to the final plus the two fastest times, unfortunately Jonathan did not make it through on time. “Disappointed I didn’t get out there and qualify for the final, first time at a large competition such as this, I can always walk away with a the experience of what it’s like and knowledge of what I need to work on, and I’ll be ready next time. Didn’t have the best start that I wanted.”
Khamica Bingham of Brampton, Ont., did not advance to the women’s 200-metres final, placed sixth in the second semi-final in 23.02. “Going in I felt a little tired, I tried to not think about that and give it my all, I knew I would be running blind from lane 9, just tried to have a good start, get off that turn and set myself up. Didn’t have the finish I wanted.”
Kim Hyacinthe of Terrebonne, Que., was seventh in the third semi-final of the women’s 200-metres in 23.07, also did not advance to the final.
Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Man., was 11th in heat 1 of the women’s 5000-metres in 15:50.99, she did not qualify for the final.
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