Moscow - The men’s 4x100-metres relay team won bronze today at the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Moscow, Russia. The last day of competition also saw outstanding performances from the women’s 4x100-metres relay team placing sixth and setting a new Canadian Record. Nate Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., was tenth in the men’s 1500-metres final.
The men’s 4x100-metres medal, Canada’s fifth at this World Championship, cemented it as Canada’s best ever.
After the London 2012 disqualification it was redemption time for the men’s 4x100-metres. The quartet of Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Mississauga, Ont., and Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont., looked to have finished fourth in the final in a very fast seasonal best of 37.92 seconds. Race footage review seemed to show Great Britain, who finished in third place, complete their second baton exchange well outside the zone. Canada launched an official appeal, and won, to elevate the team to bronze.
Gavin Smellie, “I’m so ecstatic, especially thinking back to last year and what happened. To come back and get bronze, I’m just so happy. We competed to the best of our ability and we leave here with a bronze medal. This isn’t just for us, it’s for everybody, we’re going to take these medals home and show them to our families, share them with all of Canada.”
Aaron Brown, “I went back to the computer terminal and saw Canada 3rd. We were all jumping around and hugging. It was a great moment. Exact opposite of last year. It felt right to be on the podium, we deserved to be there last year and we deserve to be there this year. The guys last year put us back on the map, we wanted to build off that momentum and go even faster this year. Over the moon right now.”
Dontae Richards-Kwok, “We did it, to run what we ran and not be there the first time around was really hard to take. We did everything we could. We really wanted to come out and get it done, and we did.”
Justyn Warner, “This is huge, Great-Britain are a great team, but I’m happy for us. Overwhelmed we did it, we put all the work together. I’m at a loss for words and just so happy. Rules are rules; we dealt with it last year. Canada again… again… is one of the top teams.”
Crystal Emmanuel of York, Ont., Shai-Anne Davis of Richmond, B.C., Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., and Khamica Bingham of Caledon, Ont., combined to finish sixth in the final of the women’s 4x100-metre relay. The last time Canada qualified a team to the women’s sprint relay final at a World Championship was in 1999 in Sevilla, Spain. Earlier in the day in the semi-final the team placed second in heat two in a new Canadian Record of 42.99 seconds. The previous best of 43.17 stood since 1976.
Leadoff Crystal Emmanuel, “We went into the race, in the first round, confident because we knew we could make it. We went out there and proved we could do it. We went out there and did what we had to do, the best is yet to come.”
Shai-Anne Davis adds, “We’re a young team, we’re a strong team, coming here it was mostly our first experience at Worlds. We did well, we made the final and got a Canadian Record, can’t complain with that.”
Anchor Khamica Bingham, “The first three exchanges were amazing, I was focused on what I had to do, go hard, run my race. I’m really happy for us, we’ll be back, we’ll be better.”
Kimberly Hyacinthe, “I feel like we could have done better in the final, but I mean this was our first final, just take it from here. Be stronger next time.”
Nate Brannen, tenth in the men’s 1500-metres final in 3:38.09. “I’m disappointed, I was gunning for a medal, I knew it would be exactly how it went, kind of slow up front and a big last lap. Unfortunately I got stuck at the back, getting kind of bounced around. Last 150-metres just didn’t have enough to catch them. I felt great today, it’s just hard when you get bumped around, lose momentum then try and pick it back up.” Brannen on what’s next, “I’m fit, I have a personal best in me, maybe close to a Canadian Record, so I’m going to keep racing this season.”
The men’s 4x100-metres qualified for the final by racing to a second place finish in the third heat in a seasonal best of 38.29 seconds.
5 medals for Canada
The 14th edition of the IAAF World Championship was Canada’s best in terms of podiums, surpassing the previous best of four medals achieved by the 1995 squad. Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., won silver in the heptathlon, Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., took bronze in the men’s shot put, Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., won bronze in the men’s high jump, Damian Warner of London, Ont., won bronze in the decathlon, and the men’s 4x100-metres relay team won bronze.
Overall the Canadian team finished 12 out of 206 countries on the IAAF placing table with 41 points (8 points for Gold, 7 points for silver, 6 points for bronze, 5 points for fourth, 4 points for fifth, 3 points for sixth, 2 points for seventh and 1 point for eighth).
“We have a young promising team,” said Head Coach Peter Eriksson. “Damian Warner, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Derek Drouin, Dylan Armstrong and the men’s 4x100-metres performed admirably on the world stage to help the team have its best World Championships ever. Lets not forget the remarkable performances by Mohammed Ahmed, ninth in the 10,000-metres, Inaki Gomez, eighth in the 20-kilometre race walk, Matthew Hughes, sixth in the 3000-metres steeplechase, Angela Whyte, sixth in the 100-metre hurdles, and Nathan Brannen’s tenth place in the 1500-metres. These are significant performances on this stage.”
Eriksson adds, “It’s not time to rest on our laurels, this championship was a step in the right direction, but we need to continue to set high expectations for our coaches and athletes. To reach those expectations we, as a program, will continue to support the necessary commitment to training and preparation.”
Canada’s performances at IAAF World Championships
Edition Medals Top 8 IAAF ranking Edition Medals Top 8 IAAF ranking
2013 5 9 12 1999 0 4 24
2011 1 3 24 1997 2 7 20
2009 1 3 27 1995 4 6 13
2007 2 5 23 1993 1 6 16
2005 1 4 27 1991 2 6 17
2003 2 4 24 1987 0 7 13
2001 0 5 31 1983 0 13 11
Canada’s 14th IAAF World Championship By the Numbers
3 - Canadian Records
Derek Drouin, Matthew Hughes, Women’s 4x100m
3 - All time best performances at the World Championships
Mohammed Ahmed, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Inaki Gomez
5 - Medals
Dylan Armstrong, Derek Drouin, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Damian Warner, Men’s 4x100-metres
6 - Personal Bests
Evan Dunfee, Derek Drouin, Matthew Hughes, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Kate Van Buskirk, Damian Warner
9 - Top 8 finishes
Dylan Armstrong, Derek Drouin, Inaki Gomez, Matthew Hughes, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Damian Warner, Angela Whyte, Women’s 4x100m, Men’s 4x100m