Olympic trials: Montcalm, Gleadle and Teschuk lead respective fields to Rio
Olympic.ca will be following top stories from the Athletics Canada trials July 7 to 10 in Edmonton, which will determine who will compete for Team Canada in track and field at Rio 2016. The trials are streamed live here.
July 8: Second day of competition
Women’s 400m hurdles (final)
After coming agonizingly close to achieving Olympic standard on Thursday, Noelle Montcalm not only cleared that barrier a day later, she won the women’s 400-metre hurdles national title outright.
Running in 55.83 seconds – well under the 56.20 required to punch a ticket to Rio – Montcalm claimed a national title after missing out on the standard by 0.02 the previous day.
RELATED: Olympic Trials Day 1
Montcalm also beat the race favourite, Sage Watson, who has the fastest time run by a Canadian in the discipline this season at 54.82. On Friday, Watson clocked 55.88 and Chanice Chase was third in 56.06.
Per Athletics Canada rules, Montcalm and Watson will both head to Rio. Meanwhile, a case can be made for Chase, and she could be nominated to Team Canada provided the Athletics Canada’s national team committee decides she has the “competitive readiness” to warrant an Olympic inclusion.
Women’s javelin (final)
Canadian record holder Liz Gleadle will be heading to her second Olympic Games. The London 2012 thrower launched for 59.36 metres in soggy Edmonton conditions following thunderstorms on Friday. Nonetheless, having already achieved the standard, Gleadle simply needed a top-two finish for an Olympic spot.
RELATED: Hello, my name is Liz Gleadle…
No other Canadian women will compete in the javelin at Rio 2016, not having reached the required 62.00m. Gleadle’s best is 64.83m reached in 2015 and has launched for 62.59m this season.
Women’s steeplechase (final)
Erin Teschuk kicked down the stretch to win the women’s 3000m steeplechase and secure an Olympic spot on Friday in 9:50.99, followed by Maria Bernard at 9:51.55. Geneviève Lalonde (9:52.18) came in third place.
With all three runners having met the Olympic standard prior to the race, Teschuk and Bernard should expect to receive their nomination call on Monday, while Lalonde – who had the fastest seed time heading into the event – will be a national team committee decision.
Women’s 1500m (semifinals)
Nicole Sifuentes (4:20.40), Hilary Stellingwerff (4:21.94) and Gabriela Stafford (4:22.33) were the top three leaders after the semifinals, all comfortably advancing to Saturday final. Stellingwerff is an Olympian, made her debut at the Games at London 2012.
Missing from the semifinals was Olympian Sheila Reid, who had the fastest seed time heading into trials.
Men’s 1500m (semifinals)
Charles Philibert-Thiboutot led the way with a run of 3:48.31 heading into Saturday’s final.
Two-time Olympian Nathan Brannen posted 3:51.27 in a separate heat.
Philibert-Thiboutot and Brannen are the only runners to have met the demanding 3:36.00 standard to qualify for Rio 2016. Of the other runners closest to that barrier, Thomas Riva, has also qualified for the final. Riva’s seed time heading into trials is 3:37.34. Ross Proudfoot and Justyn Knight are the other two sub-3:40 runners in the field.
Women’s 400m (semifinals)
In a semifinal of upsets, two of four runners with Olympic standards will miss the final. Audrey Jean-Baptiste and Aiyanna-Brigit Stiverne had the ninth and 10th fastest times, missing the top eight for Saturday’s final.
Kendra Clarke (52.97) posted the fastest time of the semifinals.