July 9, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – Jeremy Rae of Fort Erie, Ont., captured Canada’s second athletics medal of the day Tuesday night at the 27th Summer Universiade when he finished second in the men’s 1500 metres in a time of 3:39.45, only six hundredths of a second behind the winner.
Earlier in the day, race walkers Inaki Gomez of Vancouver, Ben Thorne of Kitimat, B.C., and Evan Dunfee of Richmond, B.C., had claimed team bronze in the 20km event.
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Rae, a Notre Dame University student, was sixth with heading into the final lap but mounted a spectacular comeback, despite almost tripping in the final turn.
“I’m really confident in my ability to explode. I’ve had great finishes all season, Rae said as he stepped off the podium. With 200 metres to go, I tripped when another runner cut in front of me, but it didn’t stop me. I think I would have had a good shot at gold, but I’m happy I got silver.”
Rae almost caught champion Valentin Smirnov of Russia at the finish line. The top four runners were separated by only 20 hundredths.
Canada had been kept off the podium in athletics at the last Universiade in 2011 in Shenzhen, China, after racking up eight medals in 2009 in Serbia.
“The guys showed me their medal this morning and I thought to myself, I really want one too,” Rae said. “It really motivated me and I’m happy I was able to reach the podium.”
He became the first Canadian male to medal in the event at the FISU Games since Dave Bailey won silver in 1967 in Tokyo. Bailey went on to compete at the Mexico City Olympics the following year.
“Competing at the Olympics in Rio in 2016 is obviously one of my main goals,” Rae said with a smile. “I’m half Brazilian so my mom would be really proud of me if I qualified.”
Ross Proudfoot of Sudbury, Ont. (University of Guelph), also ran in the 1500 final. He placed ninth in 3:44.33.
Other Canadians in athletics finals on Tuesday included Sarah Wells of Unionville, Ont., fourth in the women’s 400m hurdles; Alicia Brown of Ottawa, fifth in the women’s 400m; Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., sixth in the women’s 800m; Helen Crofts of West Vancouver, B.C., seventh in the women’s 800m; Daniel Harper of Brampton, Ont., eighth in the men’s 400m; and Patrick Arbour of Ottawa, who completed the decathlon in eighth place.