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World Athletics Championships begin Friday: Here’s how to follow Team Canada

Want to be up to date on Team Canada’s news and results at the World Athletics Championships? Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get our live coverage. You can also read our official Team Announcement 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 World Athletics Championships begin on Friday, July 15 at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, and Canada’s 59-athlete team is ready for challenge for podium spots.

This championship, on par with the Olympic Games as the highest-level track and field competition in the world, will welcome athletes from more than 200 countries. Facing top competition, Team Canada is fielding a team comprising seven Olympic medalists, four defending world medalists, and seven athletes currently ranked in the global Top 8 this year.

Many of them have spent the weeks leading up to the championship in training camps in Langley, B.C. and in Oregon.

Everybody’s been super excited, relaxed, operating like a well-oiled machine,” said Team Head Coach Glenroy Gilbert, from the Langley Training Camp on July 11. “Athletes are happy, and training is going well out here.”

Gilbert said that Team Canada, like at the most recent World Championships in Doha in 2019, should contend for podium spots across event groups. That year, Team Canada had won a total of one silver and four bronze medals. The second-place finish belonged to Andre De Grasse in the 200m. The sprinter from Scarborough, Ont. also won bronze in the 100m, as did Mohammed Ahmed in the 5,000m, Evan Dunfee in the 50 km race walk, and Damian Warner in the decathlon. All of the 2019 medalists will represent Canada once again in Eugene.

“I think that’s one of our strengths: those athletes who achieved that high level of success are still here, and our new athletes come on board and leverage them for support,” said Gilbert. “Folks are really connecting across age groups and event groups.”

Gilbert said Team Canada’s motto this year is “Why Not Us”.

“If other teams can do it, why not Canada? For years our goal has been to develop athletes who can perform on demand – on the biggest stage – and that’s what we are expecting of themselves.”

It’s a sentiment that high jumper and team co-captain Django Lovett echoes. The 30-year-old was 22nd at the 2019 edition of the championships, but more recently finished eighth at the Tokyo Olympics. Just this year, he won gold at the Birmingham Diamond League and followed that with a national title. He comes to Oregon just six centimetres shy of the world-leading jump of 2.34 metres.

We worked so hard to qualify for teams, but if you look back and see what that means it’s that we actually belong where we are,” said Lovett. “Any time we step on the line we should show no fear, we shouldn’t be intimidated – we belong with the best because we are the best.”

Pole vaulter Alysha Newman, meanwhile, has made it her goal to stand on the podium. The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion and Canadian pole vault record holder endured a challenging year in 2021, as lingering symptoms from a concussion she had sustained in April of that year prevented her from competing at her best. This May, she announced her comeback in style by leaping over a 4.70m bar, a jump that ranked her sixth in the world this year. She followed that with a fifth national title in June.

 “I feel ready for the worlds stage in my training,” said Newman, who lives and trains in Toronto. “I’ve had my best sessions in a while, and I just want another opportunity to win a medal.”

“I’m also so excited to compete at the new Hayward Field,” she said, “it’s going to be track and field at its best.”

Here is some additional info on Newman, Lovett, and the rest of Team Canada.
 

HOW MANY ATHLETES ARE RANKED IN THE TOP 10 IN THE WORLD THIS YEAR?

Alysha Newman – Pole Vault – Rank: 6th – mark: 4.70m

Sarah Mitton – Shot Put – Rank: 3rd – mark 20.33m

Camryn Rogers – Hammer Throw – Rank: 4th – Mark: 77.67m

Marco Arop – 800m – Rank: 3rd – Mark: 1:43.61

William Paulson – 1500m – Rank: 6th – Mark: 3:33.97

Moh Ahmed – 5000m – Rank: 6th – 12:55.84

Moh Ahmed – 10000m – Rank: 2nd – 26:34.14

Damian Warner – Decathlon – Rank 2nd – Mark: 8797
 

OTHER NOTABLE MEDAL THREATS:

Andre De Grasse – 100m/200m: Defending Olympic 200m champion, 100m bronze medalist

Men’s 4x100m – Four returning athletes (De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney) from the silver medal winning team in Tokyo 2020. This year, Brown and Jerome Blake are ranked 17 and 19 in the 200m, respectively.

Django Lovett – High Jump – The team captain is ranked 15th in the world, but only 6cm off Ilya Ivanyuk’s world-leading jump of 2.34m.

Evan Dunfee – 35km race walk – The Team Canada veteran finished seventh in the distance at the World Race Walking Championships in March of this year, and is just a year removed from taking home bronze medal in the 50k race walk in Tokyo.
 

CLICK HERE TO MEET THE ENTIRE TEAM