Olympic champ Gilbert to head men’s 4x100m relay team

Canada’s 4x100m men’s relay program is back in the hands of Glenroy Gilbert.

The Olympic relay champion from Atlanta 1996 will be heading the men’s team as per an Athletics Canada directive this week from head coach Peter Eriksson, who made the decision so the team is “ready to execute at the World Championships” in Beijing.

(L-R) Esmie, Surin, Bailey and Gilbert brought Canada double sprinting gold in Atlanta.

Glenroy Gilbert (far right) was a member of the Atlanta 1996 gold medal winning men’s 4x100m relay squad.

Gilbert was the man who helped Canadian relay return to the World Championships podium at Moscow 2013 when Canada won a bronze medal. A year earlier the nation would’ve been on the Olympic podium at London 2012 but for a technical disqualification.

Since Moscow, another Olympian, Desai Williams, has been heading the men’s team. Unfortunately, Canada’s most recent foray into a major 4x100m men’s race resulted in a poor first exchange and disqualification at the IAAF World Relays in early May. That outcome robbed Canada a chance to qualify its 4x100m men’s team directly to the next Olympics.

Canadian men's 4x100m relay team enjoy their World Championships podium moment at Moscow 2013 (Photo: Athletics Canada).

Canadian men’s 4x100m relay team enjoy their World Championships podium moment at Moscow 2013 (Photo: Athletics Canada).

Gilbert’s appointment comes at an exciting time for Canadian sprinting. The emergence of 20-year old Andre De Grasse as a 9.97-second 100m runner adds to a team that boasts the likes of Aaron Brown (10.05), Akeem Haynes (10.23), Dontae Richards-Kwok (10.12), Gavin Smellie (10.14) and Justyn Warner (10.09) to name a few.

The new relay coach said he will reach out to all runners (and their coaches) on his radar and that he will “meet with the athletes in the relay pool after the national championships in Edmonton to discuss next steps with them.”

The Canadian Championships in Edmonton will be from July 2-5, after which there will be a camp ahead of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. The World Championships are this summer in Beijing.