Day six of the IAAF World Championships in London, England, saw Brittany Crew of Toronto place sixth in the women’s shot put final, the best finish by a Canadian at the World Championships in the event. Over on the track, a trio of athletes advanced to finals; Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., and Justyn Knight of Toronto in the 5000-metres, and Geneviève Lalonde of Moncton, N.B., in the 3000-metres steeplechase.
Canada has never fielded two athletes in the 5000-metres final at the same World Championships. The only other finalists at Worlds in the men's 5000-metres were Carey Nelson (1987) and Ahmed (2015).
Crew recorded her best throw in the shot put final on her second attempt. The throw of 18.21-metres was good enough to put her in the top eight, and earn herself an additional three throws to try and improve her position. “I couldn’t be happier. My goal was to make top 12, and then once I got to the top 12 it was to be top eight,” said Crew at the conclusion of the final. “In Tokyo, I’m hoping that I can get on the podium. I think my progression is showing that; each year I’m getting a little better.”
Knight was fourth in heat 1 of the men’s 5000-metres to automatically qualify for the final in a time of 13:30.27. The final is Saturday at 3:20 p.m. The young athlete raced like a seasoned veteran in what was his first senior World Championships experience. “I tried to stay out of trouble. There were a couple of times where I might have stumbled a little bit, but one thing I learned in the NCAA is that you can’t take too much out of that. You just have to relax and get back in your zone,” said Knight when asked about the race. “I’m (excited) about making it (to the final) and one thing I can tell you right now is that I’m going to try to be the best athlete that I can be.”
Ahmed placed sixth in a very physical second heat of the men’s 5000-metres. His time of 13:22.97 was the fastest non-auto qualifier posted to advance to the final. Days ago he was eighth in the final of the 10,000-metres. When asked about the conditions – both physical and weather related – Ahmed said “I nearly went down at one point. (Paul Kipkemoi) Chelimo, one of the top dogs, went down. When I saw that it was raining, I was like ‘Stay on your feet. It’s going to be wet out there. It’s going to be sloppy. You just have to stay on your feet’.” To place well in Saturday’s final, Ahmed said “It’s going to take everything – smart racing, a smart well executed race. That’s what it’s going to take.”
Lalonde finished fifth in heat 2 of the women’s 3000-metres steeplechase in a time of 9:31.81, a seasonal best performance. She tripped over one of the steeple barriers early in the race; it looked like her trail leg just caught the top and it sent her flying down to the track. “I’m really fit right now and going into that race anything could have happened. It was raining, it was fast. I tried to go out front, but then I tumbled on the second barrier, and unfortunately, barriers hit you back.” Lalonde was able to recover and finish in a good position to advance to the final. The final is scheduled for Friday at 4:25 p.m. ET.
Alycia Butterworth of Parksville, B.C., ran a time of 9:51.50 to place eighth in heat 1 of the 3000-metres steeplechase. “I was a little bit disappointed with the fact that no one wanted to take it out. I was really hoping to run a good time here tonight and I felt ready to run a really fast time,” said Butterworth following her heat. “I thought that if we had gone out and gone for time there was a chance, if I stayed strong, that I could get a time bid into the final. But unfortunately, no one wanted to take it out so we did end up running a really slow race.” Butterworth crossed the finish line in ninth place, but after Colleen Quigley of the U.S.A. was disqualified, she was upgraded to eighth in the heat.
Maria Bernard of Calgary finished 11th in heat 3 in a time of 9:59.45. “I just wasn’t feeling as great as I hoped to. My legs were a bit heavy, but I tried to fight through it.
Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., registered a best mark of 6.36-metres in women’s long jump qualifying, not enough to advance to the final.
Canadian Day 7 Worlds preview (all times ET)
It is ladies’ night at London Stadium on Day 7 of the IAAF World Championships. Seven Canadian women will hit the track and one competes in field events.
Finishing 1-2 at the Canadian Championships last month (only 1.25 seconds apart), Andrea Seccafien (Toronto) and Jessica O’Connell (Calgary) hit the track at 1:30 p.m. in the women’s 5000-metre heats.
Alyx Treasure (Prince George, B.C.) looks to quality in the women’s high jump at 2:10 p.m.
Canadian record-holder and national champion Melissa Bishop (Eganville, Ont.) will race in the women’s 800-metre heats at 2:25 p.m. alongside Lindsey Butterworth (Burnaby, B.C.) and Annie LeBlanc (Repentigny, Que.).
After an impressive run in the 200-metre heats, Crystal Emmanuel (North York, Ont.) will race in the women’s 200-metre semifinal at 4:05 p.m.
Looking to set a new Canadian record and land on the podium in her first appearance in a World Championship final, Sage Watson (Medicine Hat, Alta.) will wrap-up the session for Canada at 4:35 p.m. in the women’s 400-metre hurdles.
Visit Athletics Canada’s World Championships Information Hub for everything you need to know about Canada’s team, including complete schedule info, CBC webcast / broadcast information and more.