Anything is possible for Canada in athletics in Paris | Olympic Games

Anything is possible for Canada in athletics in Paris | Olympic Games
Anything is possible for Canada in athletics in Paris | Olympic Games

If the stars align in Paris, this record could be improved given the potential of the athletes who will take part in the competitions at the Stade de France.

On the men’s track, Andre De Grasse reached the podium three times in Tokyo. He will have a lot to do to repeat this feat. If his chances of success seem good in the 200m and the 4 x 100m relay, one wonders if he will be able to win a medal in the 100m.

After a bad start during the last Olympics, De Grasse managed to get bronze, ahead of the Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs and the American Fred Curley.

However, since this feat, achieved in 9.89 s, his personal best, De Grasse has been unable to run under 10 seconds since September 2021. Since he has been bothered by injuries, his best times have been 10, 05 s in 2022, 10.16 s in 2023 and 10.10 s so far this year.

The 29-year-old Ontarian is therefore not yet qualified for the 100m, the standard being set at 10.00 s. If he fails to achieve it by then, he will have one last chance at the end of the month during the national trials in Montreal.

Currently, the man with six Olympic medals is ranked 32nd, which would allow him to go to Paris where 56 runners will appear.

It remains that 23 athletes ran under 10 seconds in the last year. Among them, nine managed a time under 9.90 s. Jamaican Oblique Seville is the fastest man so far in 2024 thanks to his victory on home soil last week at the Kingston Grand Prix. Seville ran there in 9.82 s, his best performance ever. He even defeated the American Noah Lyles (9.85 s).

Lyles also dominates the world rankings in the 200m with his time of 19.47 s. De Grasse, gold medalist in Tokyo over this distance, is currently 7th (19.76 s).

Marco Arop won bronze in 2022 before being crowned 800m world champion the following year.Photo: AP / Ashley Landis

In the 800m, Albertan Marco Arop, reigning world champion, will want to recover after being excluded from the final in Tokyo. He is currently 2nd in the world with his time of 1 min 42 s 85/100, achieved in Eugene in September 2023. Only the Kenyan Emmanuel Wanyonyi did better that day in 1:42.80, which earned him 1st rank of the ranking.

In the 5000m, Canadian Mo Ahmed, silver medalist from the 2021 Games, will be one to watch. In his fourth Olympics, the 33-year-old veteran is ranked 12th in the world with his time of 12:54.22 achieved in Los Angeles in May.

Ahmed is also in 9th place in the 10,000 m. The Ontario runner has experience in major events, but he will need to have a good day to win a medal in one or other of these events.

He is preparing to cross the river.

Jean-Simon Desgagnés at the Budapest World CupPhoto: Getty Images / AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

In the 3000m steeplechase, Jean-Simon Desgagnés, 8th at the worlds in 2023, can hope for a place in the final at his first Olympics. A medal, however, seems unlikely.

The British-Columbian Evan Dunfee, in the 20 km walk, could do well. Bronze medalist in Tokyo, during the defunct 50 km event, Dunfee is 13th in the world at the moment.

Among the women, Audrey Leduc is having an exceptional spring, having broken two Canadian records. In April, the Gatineau sprinter clocked a remarkable 10.96 s in the 100 m, which placed her 15th in the world. This time would probably be insufficient for a place in the final, but we will have to see if she continues to progress between now and the Paris Olympics.

Her time of 22.36 in the 200m two weeks ago in Atlanta places her in 14th place. Leduc, 25, is not a medal hope this year, but in 2028, in Los Angeles, perhaps she will be a serious contender for the podium?

Talent on the pitch

Camryn Rogers celebrates with her gold medal and the Canadian flag.

Camryn Rogers won the gold medal in the hammer throw at the world championships in Budapest.Photo: AFP / BEN STANSALL

On the pitch, a few Canadians could stand out.

In hammer, Camryn Rodgers and Ethan Katzberg won gold at the world championships in Budapest last year and are among Canada’s top medal hopes.

Katzberg improved his personal best with a throw of 84.38m in Kenya in April, putting him at the top of the rankings. His closest pursuer, the Pole Wojciech Nowicki is at 81.08 m.

Rodgers will have to do battle with the Americans Brooke Andersen and DeAnna Price who are currently ahead of her. The first threw 79.92 m last month. Rodgers, for his part, reached 77.76 m a few weeks later.

Shot putter Sarah Mitton achieved the best throw of the year, reaching a distance of 20.68m. Remember that she won the silver medal with a projection of 20.08 m at the world championships last September.

Decathletes Pierce Lepage and Damian Warner, respectively 1st and 2nd at the Budapest Worlds, once again have big ambitions. They will have to watch the German Leo Neugebauer, author of the best total this year with 8961 points, an NCAA record and the 6th performance in history. Such a harvest would have earned him gold in Hungary.

Two Canadian athletes compete over the hurdles.

Canadians Pierce LePage and Damian Warner scored the double, with gold and silver, at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.Photo: Associated Press / Petr David Josek

Warner, reigning Olympic champion, won the decathlon in Götzis, Austria, a few weeks ago, with 8,678 points. LePage, who is not in top form right now, was absent from this event.

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