Summer Universiade athletics (Aug. 18): Canadians just short of podium
SHENZHEN, China (CIS) – Four Canadians competed in three finals at the Shenzhen Universiade Center Stadium on Thursday night, but unfortunately for the Canucks all came just shy of winning Canada’s first medal in athletics at the 26th Summer Universiade.
Canada’s best shot of the night, at least percentage wise,
was the women’s 400m final, as Calgary’s Amonn Nelson
and Jenna Martin of Bridgewater, N.S., were both fighting for the
podium. The pair, who will work together for Canada’s 4x400m
relay team at the IAAF World Championships immediately following
these games, finished fifth and sixth respectively with times of
52.98 and 53.11.
“My time wasn’t as fast as I had hoped, but I’m proud to have been given this opportunity,” said Nelson, who runs for the University of Calgary. “To make the final with my 4x400m teammate is amazing, we actually leave tomorrow to begin preparation for worlds, it’s great to be able to have this experience of running with her.”
In the women’s 800m final, Helen Crofts’ of West Vancouver, B.C., got out of the gate with a fast start, but fell back on the second lap, running two seconds off her semifinal time to finish in sixth with a mark of 2:04.40.
“It’s been a long season and my legs were just tired, this was a really fast group of girls who are gearing up for the World Championships,” said the product of Simon Fraser University. “I’m happy to have competed here, and I really hope that I have the opportunity to come back and compete again [at a Universiade].”
Toronto’s Mark Dillon was in action in the high jump final, but finished in ninth spot after failing to clear 2.20m. Dillon had needed only one attempt at 2.10m, 2.15m, and 2.18m in the lead-up, but hit the wall at 2.20m.
A name to keep an eye on when competition resumes on Friday will be Ottawa’s Oluwasegun Makinde, who won his 200m second round heat with a new personal best time of 20.72, breaking his previous personal best of 20.90 he set in the opening round. Makinde’s time of 20.72 was the fastest in any second round heat.
“I want to leave here with a medal,” said the University of Ottawa student. “[The second round] was a good race, I’m really happy with my performance and I want to run a quality race tomorrow.”
In the morning, Vancouver’s Inaki Gomez completed the 20km race walk in a time of 1:26.21 to finish fifth overall, while teammate Evan Dunfee of Richmond, B.C., was 14th with a mark of 1:29.13. Montreal’s Kimberly Hyacinthe was second in her opening 200m heat in a time of 24.15, then won her second round heat in a time of 23.71 to qualify for Friday’s semifinal.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, Marie-Ève Dugas of Laval, Que., finished fourth in her heat, in a time of 13.86, while Edmonton’s Christie Gordon was second in her heat in a time of 13.39. Both reached Friday’s semifinals.
In the pole vault, Jason Wurster of Stevensville, Ont., finished third in his group, clearing 5.30m, and will compete in the final, while in the 400m hurdles, Gabriel El Hanbli from Repentigny, Que., failed to make the finals, finishing fifth in his semifinal in a time of 51.00.
In the decathlon, Chris Crossley of Moosomin, Sask., totaled 6920 points, to finish the meet in 14th position. Crossley’s highest point total came yesterday when he leaped 6.96m in the long jump to record 804 points in the event.