The Games have come to a close in Rio de Janeiro with Canada finishing eighth on the IAAF Placing Table, and tenth in the medal count with six podiums. At the 2012 London Games Canada won one medal (34th on medal table) and finished 15th on the Placing Table.
In terms of total medal count (six medals) Canadian athletics placed sixth overall.
The Canadian team closed the Games with outstanding performances in the men’s marathon. Eric Gillis of Antigonish, N.S., placed tenth in a time of 2:12:29, while Reid Coolsaet of Hamilton, Ont., was 23rd in 2:14:58. Gillis’ tenth place the best finish by a Canadian since Jerome Drayton was sixth at the 1976 Montreal Games.
Eric Gillis, “I was just focused on moving up through the field throughout the race, then with about 2-kilometres to go I heard someone yell pass one more guy and you’re in top 10. I was thinking holy where did that come from, I knew I was moving up, and all of a sudden I’m going for something I never dreamed of. A lot of credit to my coach Dave Scott-Thomas who put that notion in my head that I can do that.”
Six medals in Canadian athletics at the Olympic Games is the most since the 1932 Los Angeles Games (9 medals), including more than the five won at the 1984 Los Angeles boycotted Games.
Peter Eriksson, Head Coach and Chief Technical Officer on the team’s performance, “The only word I have is outstanding, the whole team performed well, above expectations we had coming in. We are a top ten nation on the medal table and top eight nation on the IAAF scoring table (more on that below). There are so many performances to outline, I look at it as an overall great performance. Now we need to think about what we need to do to get better, that will be part of the plan going forward to 2020 and 2024.”
This was billed as Canada’s largest and deepest team, and the performances did not disappoint on the world’s largest stage. No doubt credit goes to the current crop of outstanding Canadian athletes supported by their coaches and support teams. Canadians are no longer happy to participate at the Games, Canadians are competing and battling for podiums across multiple disciplines and event groups. To go with six podiums, the team registered four fourth place finishes, one sixth place, one seventh and one eighth.
Leading the charge in the medal haul was 21-year old Andre De Grasse who won medals in the 100-metres, 200-metres and helped the relay secure bronze. De Grasse is the first Canadian sprinter since Percy Williams in 1932 to finish on the podium in both the 100 and 200-metres at the same Olympics Games. He’s also the first athlete since Percy Williams to win three medals at an Olympic Games.
Gold – Derek Drouin / High Jump
Silver – Andre De Grasse / 200-metres
Bronze – Andre De Grasse / 100-metres
Bronze – Brianne Theisen-Eaton / Heptathlon
Bronze – Damian Warner / Decathlon
Bronze – Men’s 4×100-metres (Akeem Haynes, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, Andre De Grasse, Mobolade Ajomale)
4th – Melissa Bishop / 800-metres
4th – Evan Dunfee / 50-kilometres race walk
4th – Mohammed Ahmed / 5000-metres
4th – Women’s 4×400-metres (Carline Muir, Alicia Brown, Noelle Montcalm, Sage Watson)
6th – Jonathan Cabral / 110-metre hurdles
7th – Women’s 4×100-metres (Farah Jacques, Crystal Emmanuel, Phylicia George, Khamica Bingham)
8th – Phylicia George / 100-metre hurdles
IAAF Olympic Games Placing Table – Canada dating back to 1988
Gold: 8pts / Silver 7pts / Bronze 6pts / 4th 5pts / 5th 4pts / 6th 3pts / 7rd 2pts 8th / 1pts
Canadian Records broken at the Games
Melissa Bishop – 800m (1:57.02)
Andre De Grasse – 200m (19.80)
Evan Dunfee – 50 km race walk (3:41:38)
Geneviève Lalonde – 3000m steeplechase (9:30.24)
Men’s 4×100-metres (37.64)
A number of Canadian all-time best were also set at the Olympic Games in Rio:
Derek Drouin Gold in High Jump ties Duncan McNaughton from 1932
Brianne Theisen-Eaton Bronze in heptathlon improves 5th from Jessica Zelinka in 2012
Damian Warner Bronze in decathlon ties Dave Steen’s third place from 1988
Melissa Bishop 4th in the 800m ties Jenny Thompson from 1928
Mohammed Ahmed 4th in 5000m improves Alex Decoteau’s 8th place from 1912
Evan Dunfee’s 4th place improves Alex Oakley’s 6th from 1960
Matthew Hughes 10th in 3000mSC improves Graeme Fell’s 11th from 1988
Geneviève Lalonde 16th in 3000mSC first Canadian women in a steeplechase final