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The Oregon Overview is a daily publication that focuses on Team Canada’s pursuits at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon. The overview contains previews, recaps and observations, and will be published every day between July 15 and 24 on our website athletics.ca, and via our social channels on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

You can also read our official Team Announcement hereour full preview here, find Team Canada’s schedule here, and the overall World Championships schedule and results here. And do you want to watch it live? Catch the entire championships for FREE on CBC.

The first day of competition at the World Athletics Championships, wrought with qualifying rounds, saw seven Canadians move on from their heats and start lists. Canada’s throwers and jumpers showed great poise and sailed through preliminary competition, and a pair of veteran sprinters closed the evening by flexing their late-season fitness. Below are the highlights that helped the Red and White make its mark on Day 1 of the ten-day event. 

HAMMER TIME, FOR CAMRYN ROGERS, LASTED ABOUT THREE MINUTES

That’s roughly how long the fourth-ranked hammer thrower in the world needed to wait her turn, step inside the circle, and launch her implement for 73.67 metres on her first toss. There was no need to throw again: the mark was great enough to qualify her for the world final on Sunday at 11:35 a.m. (PST). Rogers, who holds the Canadian record of 77.67 metres, said she feels ready to challenge her personal best in the final, where she will get six shots at bettering herself, instead of just one.

“We went in the qualifying round with the plan to get it done on the first throw, and to come here and execute is everything,” she said. “Now the plan is to build on that and get a new PB – maybe that means walking away with a medal.”

Rogers was one of two Canadians to make it to the 12-women finale: her teammate and Team Captain Jillian Weir’s 72.00 metre throw secured her the ninth place and a spot on Sunday morning’s start list.

“Round one was a little timid, round two I got into the groove, and round three just messed up a little bit,” said Weir. “I knew round two was definitely better and I still think there is a lot more there. I try to remind myself hey, you made Tokyo, this is just another meet… trying to go in it level headed and keep calm.”

CAPTAIN DJANGO PERFECT IN QUALIFIERS

Django Lovett was one of 12 men to advance to the high jump final. The Team Canada captain and Langley, B.C native finished the qualifying round in a four-way tie for first place; he cleared a 2.28m bar, not missing one jump throughout the rounds. It was a season’s best for Lovett, and only six centimetres short of the world leading jump of 2.34m, achieved by Ilya Ivanyuk earlier this year.

Lovett was powered by a special supporter who drove the eight hours from Langley to Oregon to see him: his mom. Knowing he had loved ones in the stands, he said, helped him accomplish his goal of incurring minimal misses through the qualifying round. Going into the final, he hopes to raise the bar once again.

“We had a plan and we executed it,” said the 30-year-old. “Now my objectives for the final are again to be clean through the rounds, to maintain composure, and to take it up.”

Lovett will appear in the high jump final on July 18 at 5:45 p.m. (PST).

DE GRASSE AND BROWN RACE A BLAZING 100M FIELD, MOVE ON TO SEMIS

The men’s 100m heats saw a sub 9.80 time, a broken world U20 record, and seven men dip under the 10 second barrier. It was fast.

Two of Canada’s most seasoned athletes, Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse, muscled through the competition and secured the spot in the semi final. Brown, the defending national champion, finished third in heat five thanks to a season’s best of 10.06. De Grasse, racing in the next heat, covered for slow start and finished strong in 10.12, narrowly losing to American Christian Coleman. Jerome Blake, who posted a time of 10.16 out of heat three, did not advance.

De Grasse, who is just weeks removed from contracting COVID-19 and missing the Canadian national championship, said he was happy to get the rust off, and that having a race under his belt will give him confidence for tomorrow’s semi-final. He said it will take “a lot”, however, to beat American Fred Kerley, whose time of 9.79 was the fastest of all qualifiers. “The semi-finals are going to be a tough one – I just have to go out there and run a season’s best. The track is amazing and the atmosphere is great – there’s definitely going to be some fast times tomorrow.”

 

#MITTONSZN GOES PACIFIC

Sarah Mitton may have taken twice as many throws as Camryn Rogers to get through her own qualifying round, but the shot put competition was still young when the Canadian record holder secured her spot in tomorrow’s final, scheduled for 6:25 p.m. PST.

Mitton, who entered the competition ranked third in the world in the shot put, tossed nearly a half-metre farther than the auto-qualifying distance of 18.90m and made the final with a 19.38-metre toss. The thrower said she gained confidence when she heard the auto-qualifying mark was below 19 metres – it’s a distance she has no trouble throwing. She was tentative in the first round and failed to crack the distance, but came back to the circle minutes later to launch her best-ever throw at a world championship.

“Tomorrow I’m going to swing a little harder on the first one, and not be as nervous now that I’m in the final. If I throw what I’m capable of, I think it could be really special.”

 

ANICKA NEWELL VAULTS TOWARDS FINAL

Pole Vaulter Anicka Newell only found out she had a spot on the World Championships team a week after the initial team announcement, getting in with World Athletics points. Worlds then became the perfect chance to redeem herself after failing to register a height at the Bell Canadian Track and Field Championships. In Oregon, she did just that, jumping to a season’s best of 4.50 metres and qualifying for Sunday’s final.

“I’m so happy because it’s been such a tough season, and I just came here with the intention to have some fun and fight for every jump,” said Newell. “The final is another opportunity to get some more experience and jump for an incredible group of women – and to try and beat all of them!”

 

TOUGH DAY IN THE DISTANCE EVENTS

Elsewhere, it was an unforgiving afternoon over the water pit. Canada’s 3,000m steeplechase stable of John Gay, Ryan Smeeton and Jean-Simon Desgagnés failed to move on from the qualifying round, finishing 24th, 31st and 36th, respectively.

“I should have trusted my instincts a bit more,” said John Gay, who said he regretted not taking the lead when the front runners in his heat slowed down the pace in early laps. “Tough day, but if you don’t win, you learn.”

Natalia Hawthorn and Lucia Stafford, meanwhile, contended with a stacked 1,500m field, and narrowly missed the final, respectively finishing in 23rd and 34th in 4:07.37 and 4:09.67.

 

THREE STORYLINES TO FOLLOW ON JULY 16

1- The men’s 100m metre semi-final and final take place in the afternoon session (6:00 and 7:50 p.m. PST)

2- Sarah Mitton takes on the world in the shot put final, also in the afternoon session at 6:25 p.m PST.

3- Proceviat, Paulson and Philibert-Thiboutot look to break the ice for Canada in the distance events at 6:30 p.m. (PST).

 

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Please contact:

Caroline Sharp

Oregon Cell: 214-601-8024

WhatsApp: 613-323-5605

Email: caroline.sharp@athletics.ca