» Derek Drouin wins high jump Olympic bronze!
Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., has won Canada's first track and field and Canada's 11th medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. Day five at Olympic Stadium also brought three top eight performances and a personal best. Drouin's medal is the fist in the high jump since Greg Joy did in at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Que.
Drouin finished in a three-way tie for third place with a mark of 2.29-metres along with Great Britain's Robert Grabarz and Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim. He cleared every height on his first attempt until reaching 2.33-metres. "I thought a medal was a realistic possibility. I had to sit there and wait for Jamie Nieto of the USA to miss his jump to confirm the bronze medal; that was really hard." He adds, "It was great to celebrate on the track with the Canadian flag signed by my community in Sarnia. They're support has been amazing and I can't wait to get my medal tomorrow night."
Michael Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C., also cleared 2.29-metres in the men's high jump final, finishing eighth overall. Mason missed on his first two attempts at that height. "I'm very happy for Derek, I felt my 2.33m attempts were pretty good. Thought I cleared it on the first try but the bar just came down after a bit of a delay." Mason adds, "I think this bodes well for Canadian high jumping for years to come, I'm in my mid twenties and Derek is only 22 years old."
Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., and Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., both finished in the top 8 of the women's sprint hurdles. George crossed the line in sixth place in 12.65 seconds equalling the personal best she set in the semi final.
Zelinka finished just behind George in seventh place in 12.69 seconds. Zelinka qualified earlier in the day for the semi final by placing second in her semi final heat in a time of 12.66 seconds.
Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont., finished seventh in her semi final heat in 12.93 seconds, she did not advance to the final. "It's disappointing, anything can happen and for me it didn't happen today. My start was great, the girl in lane three kept hitting me and I just couldn't get away. I waited forever to get here and it already feels like Rio 2016 is forever away."
Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., and Jared Connaughton of New Haven, PEI., automatically qualified for the semi finals in the men's 200-metres. Both men finished third in their heats in 20.55 and 20.72 seconds respectively. Tremaine Harris of Markham, Ont., finished fifth in his heat in 20.70 seconds but did not advance.
Brown comments on his race "I was so nervous, it is crazy out there. I tied my personal best so going to be confident in the semis, I can run with these guys." He adds, "At around 120m I felt the lactic acid but I said no way man this is the Olympics and just found another gear, ran guys down."
Connaughton on his race "I probably shut it down a little early. I went through so that's all that counts. Need to just concentrate on my lane. I'm prepared and ready to make the final."
Elizabeth Gleadle of Vancouver, B.C., took to the Javelin qualification. She finished sixth in group A with a best toss of 60.26-metres and will advance to the finale on Thursday August 9th.
In the men's 800-metres semi finals Geoff Harris of Halifax, N.S., stopped the clock in 1:46.14 for seventh place and did not advance to the final. "It was a really fun experience. The atmosphere was amazing. The race was very technical, but also very fast. I needed to be up with them when they went but unfortunately I was about 15-metres back, by the time they went it was just too much to make up."
Crystal Emmanuel of Scarborough, Ont., took to the women's 200-metre semi final finishing in seventh in her heat, crossing the line in 23.28 seconds but did not advance to final.
In the morning session Sheila Reid of Newmarket, Ont., took to the women's 5000-metres crossing the line in 15:27.41 for 15th but did not advance to the final.