Oregon Overview Day 8: 4x100m men hunt for a medal
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 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You can also read our official Team Announcement here, our 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 calm before the storm – that is how Team Canada athletes and fans alike will remember Day 8, which fielded several preliminary rounds to Saturday or Sunday’s finals. But it wasn’t all anticipatory: fans were treated to a world-class performance by Canada’s men’s relay team, and Liz Gleadle’s best-ever showing in a javelin final. Here are a few top stories from the eighth day of competition.
CANADA’S 4X100M QUARTET BOOSTED BY DE GRASSE COMEBACK
The men’s and women’s 4x100m heats unfolded with the intensity of a final, with the American women and men both setting new World Leads, and several teams, including the Canadian men, achieving new season’s bests.
On the men’s side, Canada fielded its Tokyo Olympics silver medal-winning team of Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse. Brown, who already has two top-eight finishes in this competition under his belt, and De Grasse, who dropped the 200m to help himself recover from the residual fatigue of a past COVID-19 infection, showed no signs of wariness. Neither did their teammates. The quartet cruised around the track faster than all teams but two, finishing second in their heat and third across both heats in a season’s best time of 38:10.
“It’s a good run, a season’s best, and we’re looking strong for the final,” said Brown, who started the race. “We’ll see what lane we get and we’ll give them all we got.”
“The objective was to come out, make some clean passes, make the final and hopefully get a medal,” added Jerome Blake.
As for De Grasse, the prognosis is positive. The 200m Olympic champion showed great finishing 100m speed. His anchor leg was timed at 9.01 seconds off a running start.
“I’m coming back slowly, definitely the rest over this weekend has helped a lot,” said De Grasse. “I feel pretty good and hopefully tomorrow we can get on the podium and win the gold medal.”
Canada’s women’s team, meanwhile, did not advance to the final, ending in a time of 43.09, good for tenth in the prelims. Khamica Bingham had the fastest leg: 10.30 seconds on the backstretch with a running start.
While the men’s team contains four Olympians, the women are younger on average. Second bend runner Jacqueline Madogo, in her first-ever world championship, is barely removed from a varsity soccer career at the University of Guelph.
“This is a great experience to have great role models with me,” said Madogo. “They’ve embraced us rookies and we feel like we’ve been part of the team since day one, although we just got here. I’ve loved every minute of it and I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
LINDSEY BUTTERWORTH BOWS OUT IN 800M SEMIS
Canada’s fastest half-mile woman of 2022 measured herself against the world’s best in the 800m semi-final. Lindsey Butterworth paced with a tight pack of eight through the first lap and crossed the mid-way mark in 59 seconds. Fearing being boxed in, she swung to the side and ran in outside lanes. But the extra distance bit her near the end, when she faded and held on to seventh in 2:01:39.
“I did want to stay on the outside like I did yesterday (in the prelims)” said Butterworth.
“I just didn’t feel like I had that last gear in the last 300m. I felt really good going into that second lap from that 400m to 500m mark, but in the last 150 range I just didn’t have another gear, and I really needed that other gear at that point.”
LIZ GLEADLE IN JAVELIN WORLD TOP TEN AT LAST
In her fourth-ever world championship attendance, and her third-ever final, Liz Gleadle enjoyed her best result yet. The veteran thrower and 11-time Canadian Champion tossed for 59.59 metres on her first attempt, and it remained her best result and good enough for ninth place.
After her third throw, she was eighth, which would have granted her three more throws and a berth in the second round of the final. A late throw of 60.18m Nikola Ogrodnikova of Czechia, however, relegated Gleadle to ninth.
“It was heartwrenching,” said the Canadian. “Nikola took it from me in the last minute and I’m friends with her and I’m standing there like ‘I want to wish her well, but I also want the best for myself. But she took it from me fair and square. It’s a torn feeling of knowing the women so well and wanting the best for them.”
Gleadle had consistently been throwing over 60 metres for her last five competitions, despite a challenging sleep schedule and an injury to the foot. She said she struggled to find the same rhythm today.
“59 metres is not a bad throw,” she said. “It’s not my best throw, but it’s not something I shouldn’t be proud of.”
STORYLINES TO FOLLOW ON SATURDAY
Defending Olympic Champion and 2021 Canadian athlete of the year Damian Warner will compete in Day 1 of the decathlon. The London, Ontario athlete will be in his sixth World Championship competition – currently, he is the defending bronze medalist.
Marco Arop holds the fastest in-competition 800m from the preliminary rounds, and he led much of his semi-final. Is he ready to win his first world medal?
The 4x100m men ranked third out of the heats. They are also defending Olympic silver medalist. Is another podium in the cards?
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