Angela Whyte 5th and Mohammed Ahmed advances to final
Portland, Oregon, USA – Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboltd, Sask., provided the defining moment today at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships winning gold in the five-event pentathlon with a World Lead and Canadian Record of 4881 points.
Entering the final event of the pentathlon, the 800-metres, Theisen-Eaton needed to beat Anastasiya Mokhnyuk of the Ukraine by a whopping 12-seconds to secure gold. The Canadian athlete crossed the finish line in 2:09.99 to earn 965 points. Mokhnyuk finished in 2:23.19 and had to settle for silver. “I was nervous coming into the 800-metres, I was told I needed to win by 10-seconds. My goal coming in was to do the best I could in each event, not measure myself to the other competitors. With 150-metres to go I could hear Ashton (husband) screaming you can win you can win, so I had to find another gear. The gold medal is great, but I’m most proud of executing this competition mentally the way that we planned.”
Brianne Theisen-Eaton opened the day with a personal best of 8.04 seconds in the 60-metre hurdles. She followed that up with a clearance of 1.85-metres in the high jump. Brianne reached 13.70m in the shot put (774pts), hit 6.42-metres in the long jump (981pts).
Angela Whyte of Edmonton, Alta., raced to a time of 8.09 seconds in the semis of the 60-metre hurdles to advance to the final later in the same evening. In the day’s second last event, the 35-year old Whyte ran a seasonal best of 7.99 seconds to place fifth in the final. “This is my best finish at a World Indoors, I’m not traditionally an indoor hurdler, even in my best years, but why not do something great at the end of the season. I love this sport, it’s given me so much, even though I’m older, there are athletes pushing boundaries. I won’t lie, there have been plenty of ties where I have said I can’t do this anymore, as athletes we sacrifice so much, our families, other pursuits in life.”
Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catherines, Ont., grabbed a spot in the 3000-metres final with a time of 7:53.66. “I thought it would be a little quicker (on the race), the other guys ran 59 seconds for that last auto-qualifier position. I just thought stay on it, I was keeping an eye on the clock. I knew I needed to be ready to kick.”
Tim Nedow of Brockville, Ont., finished seventh in the men’s shot put final with a best throw of 20.23-metres. “My warm up was ok, I didn’t get a throw where I felt good but I still felt like it was there. The first throw was really rough; I didn’t have one like that all season. I got it together in the second round and secured my place in the final, but couldn’t hit them after that. When I hit it, it goes one-metre further, if I don’t one-metre less. Unfortunately, that’s what happened.”
In his first run of the day, Mobolade Ajomale advanced to the men’s 60-metres semis with a time of 6.67 seconds. In the semi-finals he ran 6.60 in a heat that saw Jamaican Asafa Powell set a World Lead of 6.44. Ajomale fell just outside of the final and placed tenth in this, his first major senior World Championship. “I feel like I got out really well, I’m tired from running at NCAA Indoors last weekend. I ran 6.60, I’m not even upset about it, this is my first senior major championship, I can’t be upset about it.”
Also competing in the pentathlon, Georgia Ellenwood of Langley, B.C., placed tenth with a total score of 4324 points. She recorded a time of 8.64 in the 60-metre hurdles (987pts), leapt 1.79-metres in the high jump (966pts), reached 12.54-metres in the shot put (697pts), jumped 6.01-metres in the long jump (853pts), and ran 2:20.18 in the 800-metres (821pts). “I was a little flat with NCAA’s last weekend, I didn’t have huge expectations coming in, just wanted to come in and see what I can do. I wanted to soak in the atmosphere and just learn from the experience. I think it was pretty good considering everything.”
Philip Osei of Toronto just missed advancing in the men’s 400-metres with a clocking of 47.00 seconds in heat 2. “I felt good, I knew what I had to do from lane three, I tried to get out quick, I worked hard on the first lap and paid for it on the second.”
Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C., placed sixth in the first heat of the men’s 3000-metres in 7:54.81. “I haven’t been very good so far this season, I was hoping for a hail mary to get through to the final. I’m looking forward to the outdoor season now, hoping to do a better job there. I wasn’t right really from World Outdoors right into December, I’m feeling better now, I have been healthy and this is a good stepping stone to outdoors. We’re working on restoring the finishing speed that I used to have.”
Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Man., lost a shoe in the women’s 1500-metres, she was unable to recover and placed tenth in her heat in 4:17.24. “I don’t know how it happened (on losing her shoe), it was clipped from behind and it just came off. As soon as I lost the shoe it felt like my legs were gone. They were tied extra tight; this has never happened to me before. I think I had some bad luck out there. I came in really healthy, fit and happy. When something like this happened no one knows the work you put in with your coach and support team.”
Gabriela Stafford of Toronto was fifth in the second heat of the women’s 1500-metres in 4:11.46. “I felt more tired than I would have liked, the gun went off and I was in the lead, I did my best, but when they passed me I wasn’t as aggressive in getting back in there, I let myself get bumped around. I’m still very young, part of my goal was to come here and learn, and I did that.” Stafford placed 12th overall in the women’s 1500-metres.
Team Canada – Day 3 (March 19) competition schedule
Athlete, Portland time, Eastern time, Event
Crystal Emmanuel, 11:40, 14:40, 60m heats
*Crystal Emmanuel, 17:50, 20:50, 60m semi-finals
*Crystal Emmanuel, 19:53, 22:53, 60m FINAL
*Pending earlier qualification