Summer Universiade athletics (Aug. 16): Sprinter Richards-Kwok highlights Day 1
SHENZHEN, China (CIS) – Despite only one final scheduled on the first day of athletics competition at the 26th Summer Universiade, Canada put together a number of encouraging performances with eight athletes advancing beyond the first round of their respective events.
Six medals will be up for grabs when competition resumes on a
In the only final of Day 1, Timothy Nedow of Brockville, Ont., finished 12th in the shot put with a mark of 18.13 metres.
Perhaps the biggest story of the day happened off the track as
two-time reigning Canadian men’s 100m champion and Calgary
native Samuel Effah elected not to run in the 100m, opting instead
to rest up for the upcoming IAAF world championships in Daegu,
Effah’s teammate Dontae Richards-Kwok of Mississauga, Ont., represented Canada well in the race, posting a personal best time of 10.32 in his opening heat, and advancing to the semifinals with a time of 10.35 in his second race of the day.
“Of course the team feels sorry for [Effah], but every athlete here has to worry about their own performances,” said Team Canada head coach Claude Berube. “Dontae had a great start in both races, setting a personal best in the morning and running only .03 off that time in the afternoon.”
Ottawa’s Michael Robertson is also through to the men’s 400m semifinals, finishing third in his heat with a time of 47.20, while Toronto native Mark Dillon is off to the finals in high jump after a qualifying leap of 2.20m.
On the women’s side, Calgary’s Amonn Nelson and Jenna Martin of Bridgewater, N.S., each qualified for the 400m semifinals. Nelson finished second in her heat with a time of 53.62, while Martin was third in her heat with a mark of 53.56.
“[Nelson and Martin] both looked comfortable in their heats, the goal for both of them is to make the finals, and if you can make a final at this competition it’s a big accomplishment,” added Berube. “It’s tough for athletes [in Shenzhen], you are dealing with this heat and humidity, and are trying to shake off jet leg.”
West Vancouver’s Helen Crofts and Annie LeBlanc of Repentigny, Que., both qualified for the 800m semifinals, each finished third in their respective heats with times of 2:05.48 and 2:05.67.
In the 1500m, Anthony Berkis of Oshawa, Ont., suffered a heartbreaker in his heat, missing qualifying for the finals by three one-hundredths of a second, finishing fourth in a time of 3:49.64. Andrew Smith of Carrot River, SK., finished 15th in shot put qualifying with a personal best mark of 17.22.