IAAF Worlds Recap: Meet ends with Drouin as world champ
The IAAF World Championships in Athletics ended with Canada’s Derek Drouin winning gold on the final day.
Men’s high jump
Drouin won a jump off against defending world title holder Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine and Chinese favourite Guowei Zhang at the height of 2.34m to take first place.
It was Canada’s second gold medal of Beijing 2015, part of an eight-medal haul that is the largest ever at the worlds for Athletics Canada.
Liz Gleadle (javelin) and the women’s 4x400m relay teams took part in finals on Day 9.
Gleadle couldn’t match her preliminary round throw of 64.02m that placed her in the final and was out of contention after three attempts, unable to make the top eight to continue.
Day 8 – August 29, 2015
Canada won two silver and a bronze on Saturday in Beijing, matching and then surpassing its best ever medal haul at a World Championship in athletics.
Melissa Bishop became the first Canadian woman to win a worlds medal in the 800 metres, running for a time of 1:58.12 to take the silver medal in a close finish. That medal was Canada’s fifth at Beijing 2015, equalling its best-ever mark from Moscow 2013.
On Thursday night in Beijing, Bishop broke the Canadian women’s 800m record by running 1:57.52 in the semifinals to qualify for the thrilling finale on Saturday.
The two-day, 10-event decathlon came to a close on Saturday with Ashton Eaton of the United States breaking his own world record for gold, while Damian Warner of Canada finished with a new national mark and the record-breaking silver medal for Canada in Beijing.
Warner improved on his old mark of 8659 points by 36 to close Beijing on the podium. The Canadian had won decathlon bronze at the previous worlds in Moscow.
Men’s & women’s 4x100m relay
Canadian men were once more thrust into a relay disqualification controversy, though unlike in the Pan Am Games, the Beijing 4x100m decision was in their favour, as the fourth place finish secured by Aaron Brown, Andre De Grasse, Brendon Rodney and Justyn Warner was elevated to bronze after the United States, initially in second, was shown to have an illegal baton exchange.
The women’s 4x100m relay team didn’t find the podium at worlds, but improved on its national record with a new best time of 42.60 seconds in the semifinals thanks to Crystal Emmanuel, Kim Hyacinthe, Isatu Fofanah and Khamica Bingham. They were sixth in the final.
Women’s 4x400m relay
With a time of three minutes 26.14 seconds, the women’s 4x400m relay team of Carline Muir, Aiyanna Stiverne, Sage Watson and Nicole Sassine advanced to Sunday’s final.
Day 7 – August 28, 2015
Heartbreak in the long jump, but possibilities in decathlon, high jump and javelin arrived on Day 7 for Team Canada at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
Women’s long jump
Christabel Nettey set the pace early with a 6.95-metre jump on her first run. The Pan Am Games champion and national record holder has enjoyed a stellar season that also saw her first Diamond League win this summer. Nettey looked poised to become the first Canadian woman to break seven metres in long jump on Friday, a mark she would’ve needed to surpass for a world championship medal, but it wasn’t to be.
Ivana Spanovic responded to Nettey’s jump with a Serbian national record of 7.01m in the opening round of jumps. She matched that mark on her sixth and final attempt to secure the bronze. Shara Proctor of Great Britain also had a major breakthrough, setting a record for her country (or whatever) with a 7.07m leap for silver. In the end, neither could hold back American Tianna Bartoletta. Nettey’s season-long rival, who destroyed the field with a 7.14m jump on her final try for gold. It is the first time that three women have jumped over seven metres at the World Championships.
“I was feeling really well and confident,” Nettey said. The fact that I couldn’t respond and move with the girls is really disappointing. Fourth is really hard.”
While Nettey’s goal was to medal in Beijing, fourth best in the world with less than a year to what is expected to be her first Olympic Games still puts the 24-year-old in a strong position for the long haul.
Through the first day of decathlon, Damian Warner is in a silver medal position with 4530 points. Warner is pacing ahead of his Pan Am Games winning Canadian record mark of 8659 points. At the halfway point at Toronto 2015, Warner had 4460 points. He won bronze at the previous world championships in Moscow two years ago.
“Being 70 points better than my best mark, that makes me feel very confident before the second day,” Warner said. “If I come out with a (personal best), I would be glad. Anything can happen (Saturday). The heat was devastating, the only thing which helps are the ice masks and water. You have to keep yourself hydrated.”
Men’s high jump
Derek Drouin kept a clean score card, clearing all five of his jumps, including the requirement for making Sunday’s final with a 2.31m leap. The Canadian record holder is the defending world bronze medallist.
Pan Am Games champion Liz Gleadle registered 64.02m on her first throw, smashing the required 63.5m needed to make the final.
Women’s 100m hurdles semifinals
Neither Phylicia George (12.87s) nor Nikkita Holder (13.00) could reach the women’s 100m hurdles final, bowing out at the semifinal stage. Canada was one of only four countries to have multiple women in the semifinals.
There are two days remaining at the IAAF worlds, with Canada having the potential to break its record of five medals at this competition set at Moscow 2013. Canada currently has four medals in Beijing.
Day 6 – August 27, 2015
Melissa Bishop provided Canada’s top story on Day 6 of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics with a phenomenal national record for a place in the women’s 800 metres final.
Pan Am Games champion Melissa Bishop was in the third heat of the women’s 800m semifinals on Thursday. She might’ve known that the two opening heats flew by with massive times, claiming teammate Fiona Benson, who despite a personal best of one minute 59.59 seconds, couldn’t advance to the final.
In her heat, Bishop didn’t leave anything to chance. Her final 150 metres, becoming a standard for how to finish a middle distance race, saw Bishop power her way up the middle of the two leaders and edge ahead to win her heat with a time of 1:57.52 in a photo finish between Marina Arzamasova (Bulgaria) and Eunice Sum (Kenya).
The final race featuring eight women who ran 1:58.86 or faster in the semifinals will take place on Saturday morning at 7:15 ET. Diane Cummins (1:58.39) held the previous Canadian record.
Women’s 100m hurdles
Two Canadians are through to the semifinals from the heats on Day 6. Pan Am Games medallist Nikkita Holder had the sixth fastest time of 12.86 seconds. Phylicia George also advanced with a time of 13.03s.
Women’s long jump
One of the most consistent jumpers on the international stage, Canadian record holder Christabel Nettey easily advanced to the final with a leap of 6.79 metres, the fourth longest in qualifying. Nettey’s season-long rival Tianna Bartoletta delivered 6.71m. British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson is also in the competition, she equalled Nettey’s distance in qualifying.
With a time of 3:39.72 Charles Philibert-Thiboutot is through to the semifinals of the men’s 1500 metres. The Canadian benefitted from being in a fast heat, as his time was among the quickest for those not advancing automatically from finishing top six in each of the three heats.
Sprint and hurdles semifinals
Several Canadian athletes advanced to sprint and hurdles semifinals in the last couple of days (more on this below). Unfortunately, none were able to advance to respective finals despite some strong performances. Notably, Jonathan Cabral had a 13.37s personal best in men’s 110m hurdles on Thursday.
Day 5 – August 26, 2015
Morning sessions returned in Beijing on the fifth day of IAAF World Championships in Athletics, where five Canadian runners advanced from the opening heats, another two joined the fun in the evening.
Melissa Bishop won her heat with a powerful final stretch just as she had done in Toronto last month to take Pan Am Games gold. Her time of 2:00.23 was the ninth fastest heading into the semifinals. Fellow Canadian Fiona Benson (2:00.53) was second in her heat and also advanced to the semis.
Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed qualified for the final after he took on Great Britain’s Olympic and World Champion Mohamed Farah in the heats and finished with a season’s best 13:19.58 time for the third fastest run of the round, closely stalking the Brit and Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, the only men who were faster than the Pan Am Games gold medal-winning Canadian. Ahmed’s teammate Cam Levins was unable to register a time quick enough for a spot in the final.
Both Sekou Kaba and Jonathan Cabral qualified for the 110m hurdles semifinals in the morning. The next round will take place on Day 6 for eight coveted spots in the final.
Two of three Canadian women, Khamica Bingham and Kimberly Hyacinthe, advanced to the semifinals, while a third – Crystal Emmanuel – was involved in a bizarre race and just missed qualification in the evening session.
Bingham ran 22.90s and Hyacinthe 23.03s to meet the automatic qualification criteria by finishing top three in their respective heats. Emmanuel finished fourth in hers, however, Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown ran in the wrong lane for half the race to win that heat. The Jamaican wasn’t disqualified though, and Emmanuel (23.22s) was kept out of the semifinals falling shy of the fastest required times outside the top three, which saw 23.15s as the slowest qualifying time.
Day 4 – August 25, 2015
It was a quiet Day 4 at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics for Canada after winning four medals in the opening three days.
With no morning session, the men’s 200m on the evening was the only event that featured multiple Canadians. Brendon Rodney and Aaron Brown took part in men’s 200m heats looking for a place in the semifinals.
With top three in each heat plus next three fastest times overall advancing, Rodney booked an automatic spot by placing third in heat number five with a personal best of 20.18 seconds. Brown however, didn’t fare as well, running in a much slower heat the Canadian was fourth and his time of 20.43s was just outside the slowest clocking through to semis, a 20.40s belonging to Jamiaca’s Nickel Ashmeade.
Carline Muir was eliminated from competition in the semifinals after a time of 52.31s.
Day 3 – August 24, 2015
The third day of the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Athletics saw Canada win a historic pole vault gold medal via Shawn Barber.
Men’s pole vault
Shawn Barber has a personal best of 5.93 metres, a Canadian record set only last month, however the 21-year-old didn’t need to reach that height to secure gold in Beijing and become the World Champion in the process.
France’s Renaud Lavillenie, the world record holder, failed to clear the 5.90m height on three attempt, knocking him out of contention for gold after Barber made the grade on his first try. Only Raphael Holzdeppe – the defending world champ – of Germany remained in contention after he cleared 5.90 on his third and final chance. Neither Barber nor Holzdeppe could clear 6.00m, giving the Canadian gold for having the better overall record.
Pan Am Games medallist Lanni Marchant and Canadian record holder Natasha Wodak competed in the 10,000m final on Day 4. There was a timid start from the field, but when the race picked up the Canadians were too far back of the pack. Marchant (32:22.50) and Wodak (32:59.20) were well off the Canadian record pace (Wodak’s 31:41.59). The winner was Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot in a final lap sprint for a race time of 31:41.31.
Matt Hughes, who led a 1-2 Canadian finish at the Pan Am Games in July, finished eighth in the world on Day 4 in the steeplechase at a time of 8:18.63. As usual at this event, Kenyan runners dominated, occupying the top four positions in a medal sweep with Ezekiel Kemboi (8:11.28) winning gold.
Day 2 – August 23, 2015
Canada has three medals at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics – all coming on Day 2 in Beijing from Andre De Grasse, Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Ben Thorne.
Andre De Grasse has won a World Championship bronze, sprinting to the podium in 9.92 seconds. His personal best prior to this race was a wind legal 9.95s (although he has run wind-assisted 9.75 this year as well). A day earlier De Grasse ran 9.99 in heats before finding 9.96s in the semifinals two hours prior to the final.
The 20-year old matched Usain Bolt in the semifinals before reaching the final, where the Jamaican superstar took gold in 9.79, edging Justin Gatlin of the United States (9.80) for silver. De Grasse shares the bronze medal with collegiate rival and good friend Trayvon Bromell of the United States, who was also clocked at 9.92s.
Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill – the Olympic Champion – was the only woman to beat Theisen-Eaton. The difference over seven events between the two top female heptathletes was 6669 points for Ennis-Hill to 6554 for Canada’s Theisen-Eaton. Latvia’s Laura Ikauniece-Admidina was the bronze medallist with a national record of 6516 points for her country.
Theisen-Eaton’s breakdown of events are as follows: 100m hurdles (12.98 seconds, 1127 points); high jump (1.80m, 978); shot put (13.70m, 774); 200m (23.94s, 986); long jump (6.55m, 1023); javelin (42.94m, 724); 800m (2:11.52, 942).
Men’s 20km race walk
Ben Thorne won bronze and broke the national 20 kilometre race walk record in one hour 19 minutes and 57 seconds, bettering teammate Evan Dunfee’s 1:20:13 set in May of 2014. Dunfee finished 13th and Inaki Gomez 15th on a punishing day with several athletes dropping back with physical ailments.
Miguel Angel Lopez of Spain took gold (1:19:14) while the Bird’s Nest roared as Chinese walker Zhen Wang ended his race with a silver medal in 1:19:29.
No Canadian runners advanced past the heats in the morning. However, Khamica Bingham, Crystal Emmanuel and Kimberly Hyacinthe – who all ran on Sunday – will return for the women’s 200m and 4x100m relay. In the latter event Canada is ranked seventh in the world and could have an impact on the final.
CBC has daily live streams of the competition at Beijing 2015, with recorded coverage on television. Athletics Canada has a compeition page with full team roster and other details about the Canadian squad.
Day 1 – August 22, 2015
Multiple Canadians remain in the medal hunt after first day of competition at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics taking place at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton in the heptathlon sits in fourth place after four of seven events through Saturday. Only six points back of third, the silver medallist from the last IAAF worlds at Moscow 2013 is very much in contention for a return to the podium on Sunday.
Bowing out at 1.80 metres in the high jump and falling short of her personal best in the 200m (running 23.94 seconds against a PB of 23.34s) hurt Theisen-Eaton in the points race. She did set a personal best in the 100m hurdles of 12.98s and scored a decent shot put distance of 13.70m, but Great Britan’s Olympic Champion Jessica Ennis-Hill (4005 points) and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (3925) sit 1-2, just ahead of Nadine Visser of Netherlands (3871) making up the top three to date. The long jump, javelin and 800m events will finish the two-day contest on Sunday.
Canada saw two sprinters to the semifinals for Sunday with Andre De Grasse (9.99s) and Aaron Brown (10.03s) each finishing second in their respective heats. Both semifinals and then the final will take place roughly two hours apart during the evening session on Day 2 (early Sunday morning in Canada’s east coast).
A total of eight men ran sub-10 second times, including a 9.83s from Justin Gatlin of the United States and a casual 9.96s for defending World and Olympic Champion Usain Bolt. De Grasse’s U.S. college rival Trayvon Bromell sprinted to a 9.91s finish in heats. Gatlin’s time was slightly wind assisted at 2.1 metres per second, in the same heat as Canada’s Brown.
Men’s pole vault
It was easy does it for Canada’s Shawn Barber, an undisputed medal threat in the pole vault. The 21-year old Canadian was one of 16 men who cleared the bar at the requisite 5.70m for a chance at medals in Monday’s final. Barber’s clearance came on his first attempt, he has a personal best of 5.93m set four days after he won the Pan Am Games gold medal in Toronto.
In this Kenya-dominated event, Matt Hughes has reached the final. It is another great step for Hughes, who won the 3000m race with its jumps and a water hazard at the Pan Am Games last month. Four Kenyans will be in Monday’s final – most for any country – three of whom have clocked sub-eight minute personal best times, no other nation has competitors in the final that can boast the same.