Budapest 2023 Was One For The History Books
Earlier this month, we wrote that Canada was sending “a distinguished team with lofty goals” to the 2023 World Athletics Championships.
Then the team went out and flew right past those lofty goals into something historic.
Canada’s 4 gold and 2 silver medals were good for 70 points in the placing table – the best score ever for Canada at the World Athletics and good for 6th overall. Those 4 golds were also tied with Spain for the 2nd most world titles at these Championships, trailing only the United States.
They say there’s a first time for everything, so here are some firsts.
- Ethan Katzberg won Canada’s first ever hammer throw gold. He is also the youngest men’s hammer throw champion ever, as well as the youngest men’s medallist in the event.
- Carmyn Rogers won Canada’s first ever women’s hammer throw title and she’s the first Canadian woman to win gold since Perdita Felicien in 2003.
- Marco Arop became Canada’s first man to win gold in the 800 metres.
- Pierce LePage earned Canada’s first decathlon world championship.
- Those four gold-medal performances were the most for Canada in the 40-year history of World Athletics Championships.
Budapest 2023 By The Numbers
- Gold: Ethan Katzberg, Men’s Hammer Throw
- Gold: Camryn Rogers, Women’s Hammer Throw
- Gold: Marco Arop, Men’s 800 metres
- Gold: Pierce LePage, Decathlon
- Silver: Sarah Mitton, Women’s Shot Put
- Silver: Damian Warner, Decathlon
SEVEN Other Top-8s:
- 4th Evan Dunfee, Men’s 20 km Race Walk
- 4th Evan Dunfee, Men’s 35 km Race Walk
- 4th Women’s 4×400 metre relay
- 6th Mo Ahmed, Men’s 10,000 metres
- 6th Andre De Grasse, Men’s 200 metres
- 7th Mohammed Ahmed, Men’s 5000 metres
- 8th Jean-Simon Desgagnés, Men’s 3000 metre Steeplechase
SEVEN Personal Bests:
- Ethan Katzberg, Men’s Hammer Throw (National Record, established in qualifying and again in the final)
- Evan Dunfee, Men’s 20 km Race Walk (National Record)
- Grace Konrad, Women’s 400 metres
- Jazz Shukla, Women’s 800 metres (Established in the heats and again in the final)
- Jean-Simon Desgagnés, Men’s 3000 metre Steeplechase
- Kate Curent, Women’s 1500 metres
- Pierce LePage, Decathlon
SEVEN Season’s Bests:
- Damian Warner, Decathlon: 8804 points
- Django Lovett, Men’s High Jump: 2.22 metres
- Natasha Wodak: 2:30:09
- Rory Linkletter, Men’s Marathon: 2:12:16
- Sarah Mitton, Women’s Shot Put: 20.08 metres
- Sasha Gollish, Women’s Marathon: 2:45:09
- Women’s 4×400 metre relay: 3:22.42
Wrapping Up Day 9
Canada Finishes Fourth in 4×400
The Canadian quartet of Zoe Sherar, Aiyanna Stiverne, Kyra Constantine, and Grace Konrad were in it from start to finish, crossing the line in a season’s best time of 3:22.42 to finish 4th in the women’s 4×400 metre relay. That sizzling four laps of the track was the third fastest women’s 4×400 metre time in Canadian history.
“Fourth place is not fun. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch the race for a few weeks, at least,” Stiverne said. “We put up what we needed to put up. We ran 3:22 and it just didn’t put us on the podium this time. It usually would. Every year, we have such a deep pool. It seems to get deeper and deeper every year. We have girls moving in from NCAA coming in, so it’s going to be a bit spicy to get on the team, but we will have a solid team going into Paris.”
Ahmed Runs Out of Room in 5000 Metres
Mohammed Ahmed finished 7th in a star-studded men’s 5000 metres final, clocking in with a time of 13:12.92. After making his way to the front of the pack, the pace shifted and the Olympic silver medallist at this distance was stuck in a traffic jam on the track.
“I got up (towards the front) and then seemed to get shuffled, shuffled, shuffled back. The last five or six laps it seemed like there was a different person pushing,” Ahmed said. “I did a good job of holding my position. I just couldn’t get any further. By the time I could, we had 800 metres to go. At that point, I was hoping to be further ahead. I just kicked as hard as I could. It’s just a shame there was so much traffic”
The men’s marathon led off the final day in Budapest, with three Canadians in the field.
Rory Linkletter finished 19th, with a season’s best time of 2:12:16 to lead the Canadian pack. Ben Preisner came in at 2:15:02, good for 28th place and Justin Kent was right behind him in 30th place with a time of 2:15:26.
“My goal was to do better than last year, when I was 20th, so I think I executed well,” Linkletter said. “I really managed my efforts well. I took some risks between 15 km and 35 km and I held on strong still, so I’m really happy with it.”
“The whole plan going into this race was I wanted to execute the race and I wanted to feel good about it and confident about my last 5 km. I’ve raced in the heat before and did the exact opposite,” Preisner said. “The whole point of this was to build momentum into the Fall. The name of the game is to hit standard and try to qualify for Paris.”
“That was a blast – a lot of fun. Ben and I had some tactics and we were going to play it pretty safe and try to eat as many bodies as we can over the last 15 km,” Kent said. “That last 5km was tough, but amazing to be here. It’s a dream come true, representing Canada. I’m just super grateful to be here and feeling good.”