LONDON, ENG - AUGUST 11: Day Eight of the 2017 IAAF World Track & Field Championships on August 11, 2017 at Olympic Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Park in London, England. Photo: Claus Andersen

Day eight of the 2017 IAAF World Championships saw Geneviève Lalonde of Moncton, N.B., lower her Canadian record in the women’s 3000-metres steeplechase final, Crystal Emmanuel of North York, Ont., race to a seventh-place finish in the women’s 200-metres final and Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., advance to the women’s 800-metres final.

Today was also day one of the decathlon competition. Damian Warner didn’t get off to the start he would have liked to, but battled back in the high jump and 400-metres to claw his way back into the competition. Going into day two of the decathlon he sits in fourth place. “Tomorrow is not as physically demanding as today. I just kind of tell myself ‘I got through today fine; 400-metres was the biggest worry I had and I’m still standing right now.’ I just have to come out tomorrow and take care of business.”

Warner was one of the Canadian athletes who ended up sick and in quarantine. “Three days ago, I woke up in the morning and felt a little nauseated. My stomach was in a little bit of pain. I went to the track and did a work-out and was feeling warm, dizzy and very uncoordinated. I went back to the hotel and had a nap, and then woke-up and was like ‘Oh, gosh. I have to go to the doctor.’ I gave the doctor and my my physio a call, and the rest is history after that.”

Emmanuel ran a great race out of lane 2 putting herself out front coming out of the curve where she was sitting in third place. “It felt really good. I got out of the blocks really strong. Came off the turn and just kept going home to the line and kept strong,” said Emmanuel. The rounds and the lane 2 draw took its toll, she slipped back to finish in 22.60 seconds in seventh place. However, Emmanuel sees this as an important moment in women’s sprinting. “I just want to let everyone know that Canada is still on the map in track and field. The women, we didn’t have a lot of girls coming out and making finals (in sprint events). It’s my first final, to show the girls anything you aim for you can go for. All year, I’ve been like ‘I’m going to Worlds. I’m not making the semifinals this time. I’m going to make sure I make the final and be empowered for all women and girls.’”

Lalonde raced in maybe the event of the Championships thus far.  “I feel pretty happy. I did what I could with what I had and to be part of a race like that, to see those performances and to be part of it and to break that Canadian record again – I was hoping to go under 9:30 this year, I did,” said Lalonde. The women’s 3000-metres steeplechase final saw a Championship record, seven personal bests, two national records and a new under-20 World record. The Canadian lowered her national record to 9:29.99 and finished 13th. “I’m really happy that I came out and did what I could today and broke that Canadian record again. I’m just trying to bring it down as best as I can. You can’t be mad about having a personal best. I’m really happy with how things turned out.”

Bishop placed second in semifinal 1 in a time of 1:59.56. This was a much less physical run than her heat yesterday. “That was way better than yesterday. That was way smoother and way less energy spared, so it was good. It felt really good making it out that quick and there was no traffic,” said Bishop. The 800-metres final is Sunday at 3:10 p.m. ET. “I’m just going to recover, do a little bit of jogging, lots of eating, lots of sleeping. See what movies are on TV.” At the last World Championships in Beijing, China (2015), Bishop won silver. Last summer at the Rio Games she placed fourth.

Warner opened up decathlon competition by posting the fastest time in the 100-metres, he raced to a time of 10.50 to earn himself 975 points in the first event of the competition. “It’s extremely disappointing. I was a little bit fatigued coming into this competition. Usually when I come up out of my drive phrase and within 60-metres, even when Ashton was in the competition, sometimes I didn’t see anybody. I kind of get accustomed to not seeing anybody. When I came up today, I kind of saw the whole field and I was like ‘what is happening?,’ said Warner about the race. “You try to make the most of it. I had two strong events at the end of today, so hopefully I’ll come out and get five strong events tomorrow.”

In the long jump, Warner registered a best mark of 7.44-metres to earn himself 764 points in his overall score. While in the shot put, he registered a best throw of 13.45-metres, good for 695 points.

Warner tackled the high jump next. He had first time clearances at 1.90 and 1.93-metres. He sailed over 1.96-metres on his second attempt and had a big third attempt clearance at 2.02-metres. He was unable to clear 2.05-metres, earning 822 points.

The Canadian decathlete ended the day with a really strong 400-metres racing to a time of 47.47, good for 935 points. Going into Day 2 of the decathlon Warner is in fourth place, only 14 points out of the bronze medal position, and 74 points out of the silver medal position. “Going into the 400 I was a a little bit worried about how I would feel. I told Les and the guys that I was going to try and go out hard and see what I have left. Luckily for me when I got to about 250, 300, I saw Kai Kazmirek and just tried to stay with him the best that I could and the time was a season’s best. I’ll take that.”

Phylicia George qualified for the 100-metre hurdle semifinals with a third-place finish in heat 2 with a time of 13.01 seconds in the day’s first session. In the evening session, she finished fifth in semifinal 1 in a time of 13.04 seconds, not enough to advance to tomorrow’s final.

Angela Whyte of Edmonton did not qualify for the 100-metre semifinals. She crossed the finish line of heat 5 in sixth place in a time of 13.23 seconds. Following the race, Whyte said “In all honesty, my warm-up starts at the warm-up track were really good. My practices leading up to this after nationals were really focused, they’ve been pretty good.” Whyte on her longevity, this being her seventh World Championships, “I don’t want to stop. You know, sometimes athletes know when they need to bow-out. Their body doesn’t quite feel right or they just don’t get that same excitement anymore for it. They don’t have the passion for it anymore. But I think other times, athletes leave because the sport pushes them out. There have been plenty of times where I’ve felt like I’m being pushed out. With the little comments like ‘How much longer are you going to keep doing this? Oh, you’re how old?’ Those are little subtle things that push people out. It makes you feel like the sport doesn’t love you anymore. It’s all perception. Unfortunately, I was hoping to do better than I did last year in Rio. I didn’t, but I still have some good stuff in the tank and I do want to be an example for anybody who wants to (compete). I want to continue, I just have to figure out how to make it work when it counts the most.”

Michael Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C., did not qualify for the men’s high jump final. He finished qualifying with a best clearance of 2.26-metres, but needed 2.29-metres to advance. “Things started really well. The plan worked really well for the start, and when I got to 2.29-metres it kind of fell apart,” said Mason. “I needed to go for it on the first couple of attempts, but I saved it for the last attempt. That’s what I need to do. I’m successful when I really go for it. I just didn’t go for it today.”

Canadian Day 9 Worlds preview (all times ET)

Day 9 of the 2017 IAAF World Championships will see the decathlon come to a close. Teammates will also take to the track in the 4×100 and 4×400-metre relays.

Damian Warner (London, Ont.), continues his pursuit for a spot on the podium in the men’s decathlon. The second half of the two-day event will unfold as follows:

  • 5 a.m. – 110-metre hurdles
  • 6/7:20 a.m. – discus
  • 9:15 a.m. – pole vault
  • 12:30 p.m./1:55 p.m. – javelin
  • 3:45 p.m. – 1500-metres

The men’s 4×100-metre relay team consisting of Bolade Ajomale (Richmond Hill, Ont.), Aaron Brown (Toronto), Akeem Haynes (Calgary), Brandon Rodney (Brampton, Ont.) and Gavin Smellie (Brampton, Ont.) take to the track at 5:55 a.m. looking to earn a spot in the final that takes place during the evening session (4:50 p.m.).

Travia Jones (Regina), Natassha McDonald (Brampton, Ont.), Noelle Montcalm (Belle River, Ont.), Carline Muir (Edmonton), Aiyanna Stiverne (Laval, Que.) and Sage Watson (Medicine Hat, Alta.) race in the women’s 4×400-metre relay heats at 6:20 a.m.

Mohammed Ahmed (St. Catharines, Ont.) and Justyn Knight (Toronto) will compete in the men’s 5,000-metres final at 3:20 p.m. Tomorrow will be the first occasion that Canada has ever fielded two athletes in the men’s 5,000-metres final at the World Championships.