Four Canadian teams competed at the first annual International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Relays over the weekend including men’s and women’s 4x100 and 4x400-metre relay teams.
The men’s 4x100-metres team of Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Mississauga, Ont., Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., and Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont., finished 6th in the final in 38.55 seconds. As part of the new IAAF World Relay event the top eight placed teams in the 4x100 and 4x400-metre events automatically qualify for the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China; Canada earned its spot with a sixth place finish. Earlier in the day the men finished second in their heat in 38.70 to qualify for the final.
“The main objective was to come out here and finish top 8 and we achieved that which is great”, comments lead runner Gavin Smellie. “A bit disappointed that we didn’t get on the podium but it’s always a learning curve and we will perform a lot better at the Commonwealth Games.”
“This event was a great experience”, says Dontae Richards-Kwok. “We came to secure our spot into Worlds next year and we were successful in doing so. We played it really safe so I think as a result we didn’t do as well as we wanted to or could have.” Dontae adds; “Commonwealth will be a lot better.”
“The Bahamas hosted a terrific event”, notes Jared Connaughton. “The enthusiasm in the crowd was as exciting as I’ve ever experienced. As a team, we’ve got a lot to improve on, but we are motivated to challenge one another in training.”
“Honestly I am not happy or disappointed”, comments anchor runner Justyn Warner. “We didn’t execute as well as we normally do through the zones where we beat everyone.” He adds; “I am proud of the guys regardless and a great stepping stone for the Commonwealth Games this summer.”
The women’s 4x100-metre relay team just missed qualification to the 2015 event by winning Final B for ninth place overall. The team of Khamica Bingham of Caledon, Ont., Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., Crystal Emmanuel of Scarborough, Ont., and Shai-Anne Davis of Toronto, Ont., bettered their time from 43.69 in the heats to 43.33 for the win of Final B.
Both the men’s and women’s 4x400-metre relay teams advanced from Day 1 heats to the B Finals. The women’s team of Carline Muir of Edmonton, Alta., Jenna Martin of Bridgewater, N.S., Fawn Dorr of Marten River, Ont., and Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., ran the heats in 3:34.58. They sped up their time to 3:32.58 finishing third in Final B with Jenna Martin, Carline Muir, Fawn Dorr and Unionville, Ont.’s Sarah Wells as the anchor.
The men’s 4x400-metres also took to the B final and improved on their time in the heats. Saturday’s heats saw Daniel Harper and Daundre Barnaby both of Brampton, Ont., Philip Osei of Toronto, Ont., and Michael Robertson of Williamstown, Ont., clock 3:04.85. A slight change in Sunday’s B final where Tremaine Harris of Markham, Ont., ran the third leg and Philip Osei anchored the race saw the men run 3:04.67 for sixth.
“Having an event like this early in the season makes it hard to get the best performance of the season, especially when our focus is on the Commonwealth Games”, comments Head Coach Peter Eriksson. “I give the 4x100m men and women a passing mark. The 4x400m teams have some hard work in front of them. Bahamas was a great start to review the focus for our relay teams”.
Story from the Athletics Canada Website | Athletics.ca