Brandon McBride did what only one other Canadian in history has done by running under 1:44 in the men’s 800m on Friday. The Windsor, Ont. native placed second at the London Diamond League in 1:43.95, just tenths off the national record of 1:43.68.
“I still feel like there’s a lot left in the tank,” McBride told Flotrack after the race. “Hopefully we can keep the momentum going into Rio. It should be a fun one.”
— Athletics Canada (@AthleticsCanada) July 22, 2016
McBride led for the first 400m as the pacemaker went through in 50.14. France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse took over at the 550m-mark and went on to win the race in 1:43.88. McBride made one final push at the line to sneak under 1:44, ahead of Olympic silver medallist and 1:41 runner Nijel Amos.
McBride was the youngest runner in the field on Friday.
So close I can taste it !! Thank you for all the messages and support !!
— brandon mcbride (@mcbride46) July 22, 2016
The 21-year-old’s previous best was 1:44.50, which was run at the American collegiate championships in June. The Mississippi State University graduate, who will race at the Olympics, is the second fastest Canadian in history behind only Gary Reed.
The Diamond League circuit is a series of elite competitions held across the world. The London edition was held at the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics. McBride ran at the Monaco Diamond League, his debut on the circuit, on July 15.
McBride won the Canadian 800m title in Edmonton in early July to secure his spot on the Olympic team. He is known as a front runner in the 800m and often sets a fast pace on the first of the race’s two laps. Now that he’s officially a 1:43 man, McBride is a threat to make the final in the men’s 800m at the Olympics.
Canada’s 800m squad is looking strong in the leadup to Rio as Melissa Bishop broke her own national record in Edmonton on July 15.
The London Diamond League had a number of other highlights including Usain Bolt winning the men’s 200m and Kendra Harrison setting a world record in the women’s 100m hurdles. Harrison, who did not make the U.S. Olympic team, broke the hurdles record that had previously stood for 28 years. She ran 12.20 breaking the previous mark of 12.21.
Harrison’s reaction to setting the record
Love. Love. LOVE this.
The moment you realise you’ve broken a 28 year old world record.
Bravo Kendra Harrison.pic.twitter.com/3l294s1Zft
— ByTheMinute (@ByTheMins) July 22, 2016