Canada wins gold in men’s 4x100m relay at World Championships in Athletics

Twenty-six years after Robert Esmie, Glenroy Gilbert, Bruny Surin and Donovan Bailey won gold for Canada in the men’s 4×100 meters relay on a Saturday night in Georgia at the 1996 Games, another Canadian quartet of runners clinched the gold — this time a Saturday night in Eugene.

With a raucous American crowd going crazy for the heavily favored United States track and field team at the World Championships in Athletics, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse ran the race of their lives to win the gold for Canada in a time of 37.48 seconds. .

The United States took silver in 37.55, while Great Britain took bronze (37.83).

It’s the first time a Canadian men’s relay team has won gold on American soil since the Games in Atlanta in 1996.

It’s the sixth time Canadian men have won a medal in the relay at the world championships – three gold, three bronze.

The last time a Canadian men’s team won the relay at the world championships was in 1997 in Athens. Athletics Canada head coach Glenroy Gilbert was part of that mid-’90s Canadian dream team that won two world titles and a world bronze medal, as well as the 1996 Olympic gold medal.

“In my opinion, I think they’re a stronger team than what we were. They’re not just 100-meter guys, they’re also 200-meter guys. Their ability is much higher. We were mainly 100 meter sprinters.” said Gilbert.

“I’m very proud to work with them and showcase the knowledge I’ve gained over the years. They made it easy for me.”

The Canadian effort is all the more remarkable given that presenter De Grasse had COVID-19 less than a month ago. He opted out of the 200m event – ​​he is the reigning Olympic champion in that event.

But De Grasse put team and country ahead of any individual world championship aspirations to ensure he would be rested for the relay.

De Grasse, Brown and Rodney were all part of the last Canadian relay team to medal at the world championships, a bronze seven years ago in Beijing.

Blake, the new addition, was part of the team that won silver in Tokyo last summer at the Olympics.

This Canadian team talked about the importance of chemistry when it comes to the relay. They felt better prepared and more experienced than the other teams going into the final and that showed on Saturday night.

Gilbert says it’s something they practice every spring at several camps and competitions.

“A lot of it is about fundamentals and chemistry. All of these guys are talented. If they stick to the fundamentals under pressure, they’ll be successful. And the chemistry in these guys is undeniable,” he said. .

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(Radio Canada)