Crystal Emmanuel and Rachel Cliff set new personal bests; Brandon McBride advances to 800m semifinal

Day two of competition saw two Canadian women, Rachel Cliff of Vancouver and Crystal Emmanuel of North York, Ont., set new personal bests at the IAAF World Championships. Windsor, Ont.’s, Brandon McBride secured his spot in tomorrow’s men’s 800-metre semifinal at London Stadium.

The day’s opening session kicked-off with less than ideal conditions, with a heavy downpour that left puddles on the track and made throwing a challenge for some athletes. However, Canadian champions Crystal Emmanuel (100-metres) and Brandon McBride (800-metres) battled through the conditions to advance to their respective semifinals.

Brockville, Ont.’s, Tim Nedow was the first Canadian to step inside London Stadium and into the shot put circle on Day 2 of the Championships. His mark of 20.09m – 0.64m off his season’s best – was not enough to see him advance to the final. Nedow finished 16th overall.

“I was feeling healthy this year and ready to throw far. I threw 20.09m, which isn’t bad but not good,” said Nedow following qualifications. “With the competition level this year, I knew it was going to take more. Going into the third round, I had 20.09m and I thought I was going to hit one big because I knew I had to. But again, I just missed it and threw another 20-metre throw. It’s a tough year right now”

In her first IAAF World Championships appearance, Jillian Weir of Kingston, Ont., failed to register a mark in women’s hammer throw qualification. Wier did not advance to tomorrow’s final.

Shaving 0.06 seconds off her personal best in a heavy downpour, Emmanuel placed second in heat 2 of the women’s 100-metres with a time of 11.14 seconds. Emmanuel advances to the women’s semifinal, which takes place tomorrow evening.

“It was a pretty amazing race for me,” said Emmanuel. And when asked about her role in the sport and Canadian female sprinters she said “I want to be an inspiration to all sprinters – the women, the girls that are coming up. To see me our here competing with the best in the world and putting Canada back in the mix of things. I just want to empower a lot of women.”

Leya Buchanan of Mississauga, Ont., placed 5th in heat 5 of the women’s 100-metres in a time of 11.84, and did not advance to tomorrow’s semifinal.

The morning session was capped off with a second-place finish by McBride in heat 2 of the men’s 800-metres. The Canadian champion clocked a time of 1:45.69 to advance to tomorrow’s semifinal.

“We just wanted to get to the next round as comfortable as possible,” said McBride following his heat. “I just didn’t want to leave anything up to chance. So, I went out the first 400 and kept it at a decent pace and then after that it was a matter of controlling the energy from there.”

The evening session would see four Canadian women hit the track, with Winnipeg’s Nicole Sifuentes and Toronto’s Gabriel Stafford eyeing a place in the 1500-metre final, and Natasha Wodak and Cliff, both from Vancouver, competing in the 10,000-metre final.

Looking for a top-five finish in the women’s 1500-metre semifinal, or to make it through on time, Sifuentes finished 9th with a time of 4:07.92 in semi-final 1. Stafford, who set a new personal best in yesterday’s heats, came up short crossing the finish line 12th in semifinal 2 with a time of 4:08.51. Neither Sifuentes or Stafford advanced to Monday’s final.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” said Sifuentes following her semifinal. “I wanted to be in the big show, in the final. I’m not and that’s always a disappointment. It has been an incredible experience to be back here and I enjoyed every minute in the stadium.”

“I was really happy with how I executed the first half of the race,” said Stafford. But when asked about the pace change mid-way through the 1500-metres, Stafford said “I just didn’t have it today. I think physically I had it; mentally and neurologically it was too much for this point in my career. Yesterday I gave it my all, to come back less than 24 hours later, it’s hard.”

Wodak, the current national record-holder in the 10,000-metres (31:41.59 set in 2015), placed 16th with a time of 31:55.47 in her first 10,000-metre race on the track of the 2017 season. “I’m so excited,” said Wodak following the race. “I had no idea what was going to happen out here today. It’s been such an inconsistent year, and I’m just so happy I could put it together today and finish strong off a really slow start.”

Cliff, who set a new personal best in the race, crossed the finish line 20th in 32:00.03. “We opened a little slow and it just didn’t play out the way I thought it would, so that threw me off a little bit,” said Cliff when asked about the race. “It’s always ambitious assuming you’re going to PB… I really thought I could make 32 minutes and I was 32:00.03, which always hurts a little bit. I got a little nervous and didn’t compete in the last [kilometre] like I wanted to.”


Canadian Day 3 Worlds preview (all times ET)

Fifteen (15) athletes in 10 different events compete on Day 3 of the IAAF World Championships.

Matt Hughes (Oshawa, Ont.) kicks the day off for Canada at 5:05 a.m. in the men’s 3000m steeplechase heats.

Reigning World champion Shawn Barber (Toronto) looks to quality in men’s pole vault at 5:40 a.m.

Eric Gillis (Guelph, Ont.) and Thomas Toth (Lakefield, Ont.) hit the tarmac at 5:55 a.m. in the men’s marathon, while Tarah Korir (St. Clements, Ont.) and Dayna Pidhorsky (Vancouver) race in the women’s marathon at 9 a.m.

Carline Muir (Toronto), Travia Jones (Regina) and Aiyanna Stiverne (Laval, Que.) will race in the women’s 400-metre heats that get underway at 6:55 a.m.

Jonathan Cabral (Péribonka, Que.) takes to the track at 8:15 a.m. in the men’s 110-metre hurdle heats, and 3:10 p.m. should he advance to the semis.

Alysha Newman (Delaware, Ont.) and Anicka Newell (Scarborough, Ont.) compete in the women’s pole vault final at 2 p.m.

Elizabeth Gleadle (Lethbridge, Alta.) looks to quality in the women’s javelin throw at 2:05 p.m.

Crystal Emmanuel (East York, Ont.) races in the women’s 100m semifinal at 2:10 p.m., followed but the final at 4:50 p.m. should she advance.

Brandon McBride (Windsor, Ont.) will wrap-up the day’s schedule at 4:15 p.m. when he takes to the track in the men’s 800-metre semifinal.

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.

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