Shawn Barber of Toronto, Ont., won Canada’s first World Championship gold medal since Perdita Felicien accomplished the feat in the 100-metre hurdles at the 2003 Championships in France. Barber won gold in the men’s pole vault with a clean sheet through 5.90-metres. The previous best finish by a Canadian in the event at a World Championship was Douglas Wood, he was 11th in 1991 (Tokyo).
Shawn Barber “I’m delighted, I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet, looking forward to the next couple of days when it does. I was fortunate to be very consistent throughout the meet, which was the name of the game. I came in knowing it was going to come down to first attempts.” On the pressure of a World final, “I had some nerves coming in, I made sure I remembered to breathe, have some fun and enjoy myself.” On attempting 6-metres, “I’ve had better attempts at 6-metres and I’ll have better attempts in the future, looking forward to it. It’s still kind of a shock to me, especially in the pole vault, such a technical event, usually takes awhile to mature. I’m excited for the next couple of years.
Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., was 8th in the men’s 3000-metres steeplechase final in a season’s best of 8:18.63. “I knew I was ready for a good one, it’s disappointing when training indicates you’re in great shape, I just know that so much hard work went into the season, my training was better than 2013 and 2014, I’m in personal best shape, knocking on the door of 8:05. Just didn’t have it today. Coming in I felt like if the place wasn’t there but the time was, I would be somewhat happy, didn’t happen. I came into the season wanting to win at Pan Ams (he did) and get up into fourth or fifth here.”
Lanni Marchant of London, Ont., was 18th in the women’s 10000-metres final. “We went through halfway really slow, with the heat I wanted to be conservative, didn’t want to be up with those girls trying to push the pace. I knew I would have to do a lot of work on the backend to race those girls. They just started dropping some quicker turnover; I’m trying to work on that now, just not quite there… yet. I battled, didn’t want to give up, I kept picking someone in front and gunning for them. I would have liked to place better, have a faster time, would rather get this experience here and show up in Rio ready to go.”
Natasha Wodak of Vancouver, B.C., was 23rd in the 10000-metres final in 32:59.20.
Genevieve Lalonde of Moncton, N.B., and Erin Teschuk of Winnipeg, Man., are the first Canadian women to compete in the 3000-metres steeplechase at the World Championships since the women’s event was added in 2005 (Helsinki, Finland). Lalonde finished seventh in heat 1 of the women’s 3000-metres steeplechase in 9:36.83, just over one-second off her personal best of 9:35.69 established earlier this season. Teschuk set a personal best of 9:40.07 to place tenth in heat 2 of the women’s 3000-metres steeplechase.
Lalonde on her race, “It was tough, it’s warm out there, those girls really went after it, we came through in 6:22 at 2km which is right on pace with the Canadian record, I was going for it, to break 9:33. I tripped a bit over some of the barriers, was feeling the pressure. I never expected to be here at the beginning of the season, so to come out here and be able to run like that, I’m really happy.”
Teschuk,”It was honestly a lot of fun, my first time running in this kind of atmosphere, it was really exciting, it would have been awesome to make it to the final, but I would need my best plus more than that, I am happy with running a personal best. It was just fun.”
Audrey Jean-Baptiste of Montreal, Que., placed seventh in heat 3 of the women’s 400-metre heats in 53.18, she did not advance to the semi-finals. “It felt great, honestly, I’m just ready to go back and train hard to be back even better next year, grow stronger and more confident.”
Carline Muir of Edmonton, Alta., was fifth in heat 5 of the 400-metres in a seasonal best of 51.70 seconds. Advanced to the semis as the last time-qualifier by four-hundredths of a second. “I felt a little tight going into it, overall it was an ok race, hopeful it’s a fast enough time to get me into the semis tomorrow (it was). I’ll be better tomorrow.”
Sage Watson of Calgary, Alta., raced to a time of 56.38 in the women’s 400-metre hurdles, good for seventh place in semi-final 2, however did not advance to the final. “Definitely wasn’t my best performance, I’m not angry with it, I came here for the experience, to help prepare me for next year. Still have the women’s 4x400-metres coming up, that will be really exciting, we have a good group of girls who are ready to do something special.”
Story and photo from Athletics Canada | Athletics.ca