Matt Hughes advances to 3000m steeplechase final; Cabral, Montcalm and Watson advance


In the morning session Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., qualified for the men’s 3000-metres steeplechase final with a time of 8:26.27. “Talking with my coach we felt we could kick with anyone, Kemboi (of Kenya) is maybe a little out of my league, but if you don’t go in thinking you can go with anyone, it’s kind of hard to go out there and get it done.”

The men’s pole vault final was marred with delays and issues. It was first delayed due to rain, and then upon resuming was again delayed after an issue with the pole vault equipment. Shawn Barber of Toronto, Ont., didn’t have his best showing and went out of the competition at 5.65-metres. He also had a miss at 5.50-metres, the first height in the competition. “It’s one of those events where everything has to line up at the same time, I tried a couple things and they didn’t pan out like I wanted them to, that’s how it goes, you get three attempts and try and make it work in those three. You try and adjust to the wind and the rain, we’re all out there making guesses as to what’s going to work. Sometimes it doesn’t work as well as you like. The rain and the conditions weren’t great, but it’s the same for everyone. I need to absorb as much as I can and just learn from it. This isn’t diving (I used to be a diver), it doesn’t matter how it looks, you just need to get over and have the bar stay up.”

Geneviève Lalonde of Moncton, N.B., placed 16th in the women’s 3000-metres steeplechase final. This marked the first time Canada fielded women in the 3000-metres steeplechase at the Olympic Games, Lalonde also the first to make a final in the event at the Olympic Games.

Jonathan Cabral of Péribonka, Que., raced to a time of 13.63 in a torrential downpour to advance to the 110-metre hurdle semi-finals. Immediately after his race competition went into a rain delay.

Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., advanced to the 400-metre semi-finals with a second place finish in her heat in 56.07.

Sage Watson of Medicine Hat, Alta., also advanced to the 400-metre semi-finals with a time of 55.93 in the final heat, placing second.

Women’s 3000-metres steeplechase FINAL 

Geneviève Lalonde, 16th, 9:41.88

“I’ve been avoiding social media and just getting into the zone for what could happen in the final. It was a messy race at the beginning, I just tried to stay in there but my legs were really burning after those prelims and it felt like I was breathing in fire. I made the final, I ran to the best of my abilities and I left everything on the track, I couldn’t be happier about this Olympic experience, I’m looking forward to the next couple of years.   

Women’s 200-metre heats

Crystal Emmanuel, 3rd in heat 1, 22.80 Personal Best

“I went out there and executed how I wanted. I’ve been working on running the corner to get into a good position in the straightaway and on my top end speed. Luckily for me I am a morning person, I don’t know when is the last time I ran a 200-metres at 9:30 a.m.

Men’s 110-metre hurdle heats

Jonathan Cabral, 4th in heat 2, 13.63

“I’ve been in a race where it was sunshine, rain, hail and snow within a minute. I came out and did what I needed to do, made it to the next round. Now I’m just going to go and prepare for the semis. I tried to not let it get to me, I knew it was raining, there’s nothing I can do about it, so I just went out and competed. The biggest thing is the rain was getting in my eyes, threw me off on a couple of the hurdles.

Sekou Kaba, 8th in heat 5, 13.70

“I felt great, I felt awesome, I got out well and was going pretty well in the middle, but then hit a hurdle and that was it. I was in position coming right up to the end. The season started out a little shaky, injuries mostly. I turned it around, I wanted to come here and perform better than I did. I’m here, I’m enjoying myself, I did the best I could to represent Canada, my family and myself.” 

Women’s 400-metre hurdle heats 

Chanice Chase, 8th in heat 2, 1:02.83

Noelle Montcalm, 2nd in heat 5, 56.07

“I had an outside lane, I just had to make sure I took advantage of it because I prefer that. I can’t really see everybody, but it helps me to run my own race. I knew if I went out and did that, and run a personal best, or close to a personal best, I would make it through. My goal was to come in and make the semi-finals, at Worlds in 2013 I was 24th.”

Sage Watson, 2nd in heat 6, 55.93

“The race was good, I felt relaxed and confident, I made an error coming down the homestretch which I will clean up tomorrow. I’m excited for the semi-final. My goal is to make the final. I’ll have to run my best to make it.”

Men’s 3000-metres steeplechase heats

Matthew Hughes, 4th in heat 1, 8:26.27

“Talking with my coach we felt we could kick with anyone, Kemboi is maybe a little out of my league, if you don’t go in thinking you can go with anyone, it’s kind of hard to go out there and get it done. Maybe I was a little bit too relaxed, I felt great, I made a strong move down the backstretch, maybe that’s what killed my homestretch. It’s frustrating to have to watch these two heats to see if I get in (to the final), you never want to be in this position.”

Chris Winter, 10th in heat 2, 8:33.95

“It’s my first Olympics, there were a lot of emotions this morning, realizing that after 21-years of training I was finally here. I didn’t want to just be here, just be an also ran, just be a participant. I wanted to give it my best, my prep coming in was really good. I feel like I ran a great race, I was aggressive and I left it all out there. I would have loved to make the final and set a personal best, but the race didn’t pan out that way. I’m happy with the effort I put out today.”

Taylor Milne, 9th in heat 3, 8:34.38

“That heat was perfect, except for me, the first two heats didn’t go super-fast. I saw the time I needed, if I was in the top 9 and broke 8:26 I would have been in the final. If you told me that two weeks ago I would have said yes, please. I don’t know, it was tough out there. I was feeling good, very similar to my experience at Worlds last year, I was feeling good until I wasn’t. With a lap to go I needed a 66 (second lap), which is well within my capabilities, just hit me, got really tired, I wanted to give up. But this is my last Olympics, I dug in, but there wasn’t much there. Everything was great until the last 500-metres.”

Tomorrow’s preview

Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., is in the men’s high jump final at 19:30 ET.

The rounds of the men’s 200-metres begin with a trio of Canadians: Aaron Brown of Toronto, Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., and Brendon Rodney of Brampton, Ont.

Phylicia George of Pickering, Ont., Nikkita Holder of Markham, Ont., and Angela Whyte of Edmonton, Alta., are in action in the women’s 100-metre hurdles.

Nathan Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., and Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Quebec, Que., race in the 1500-metre heats.

Elizabeth Gleadle of Vancouver, B.C., throws in women’s javelin qualification.

Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., is in action in women’s long jump qualifying.