Athletics: a first in 25 years for Canada

Canada's star shone at the athletics track on Saturday in Eugene, Ore.

Athletics: a first in 25 years for Canada

Canada's star shone at the athletics track on Saturday in Eugene, Ore., as the 4x100m relay won gold at worlds for the first time since 1997.

• Read also: Canada world champion in the 4 x 100 meter relay

At the time, Quebecer Bruny Surin participated in the Maple Leaf efforts along with Robert Esmie, Donovan Bailey and Glenroy Gilbert, the latter currently coaching the track and field team.

The Canadian quartet had then covered the distance in 37.86 s. Twenty-five years later, Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney have beaten the United States, Great Britain and Jamaica in 37.48s. It was a national record and the best time of the season, all nations combined.

The four runners were able to take advantage of the support of their compatriots, while several Canadians made the trip to support them.

"It's special," De Grasse said after the race, according to a statement from Athletics Canada. There were a lot of Canadian flags there. It feels really good. We weren't at home, but that was definitely how it was."

Growing up in Vancouver, Blake performed with the encouragement of her family. He also indicated that confidence was very present in the group, which had won silver at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

"It was pretty cool because we ran together at the Olympics last year," Blake said. I come from Vancouver, not far from here. I have a lot of family and friends watching and it was special for me. Especially since my mother was near the bend to see me run.

De Grasse, who recently contracted COVID-19, had decided to give up the 200m due to residual fatigue from the disease. After qualifying for the final, he said he felt he had made a beneficial decision.

“I am coming back slowly, [this decision] helped me a lot, he assured. I feel pretty good."

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