Nine men and 13 women will represent Canada at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan on May 11 and 12, the first global track event of 2019. World Relays is a biennial event, and this year’s cash prizes will total USD $1.9 million. Many of the athletes’ main goal will be to qualify for the World Championships, to be held later this year in Doha, Qatar, and Canadians will be particularly interested to see Andre De Grasse compete again after getting injured during last year’s Canadian championships.
The experience should also be useful in preparing many of our young Olympic hopefuls for conditions in Tokyo in 2020.
The men’s 4x200m team, consisting of Gavin Smellie, Aaron Brown, Brendan Rodney and De Grasse, won gold in 2017 event. This year’s event is the 4x100m, and making the final will qualify them for the world championships.
— Athletics Canada (@AthleticsCanada) April 17, 2019
For the first time in its history, World Relays will have equal numbers of men’s and women’s events in 2019, with the addition of the shuttle hurdles (which feature two men and two women running 110m hurdles in a relay format) and the 2x2x400m relay.
“Making the final and winning a medal in Doha would mean a lot for the program,” Brown told Athletics Canada. “In years prior, we’ve seen what positive momentum a medal at the World Championships can bring. That would do wonders for us heading into 2020.”
Hurdler and NCAA champion Sage Watson echoed Brown’s sentiments: “At World Relays, our number one goal is to be on the podium and to qualify for the World Championships. This group has the ability to do that. Winning a medal in Doha would be amazing for this group and we are definitely capable of it. However, the most important thing this year is to be competitive and fast so we are ready in 2020 to bring home an Olympic medal.”
The 22 athletes selected are, in alphabetical order:
|Khamica Bingham||Brampton, Ont.||Dennis Shaver||Brampton Track Club||Women’s 4x100m|
|Jerome Blake||Vancouver, B.C.||Tara Self||Coquitlam Cheetahs||Men’s 4x100m|
|Bismark Boateng||Toronto, Ont.||Charles Allen||Unattached||Men’s 4x100m|
|Aaron Brown*||Toronto, Ont.||Dennis Mitchell||Phoenix Athletics||Men’s 4x100m|
|Alicia Brown*||Toronto, Ont.||Bob Westman||University of Toronto Track Club||Women’s 4x400m|
|Leya Buchanan||Mississauga, Ont.||John Smith||Unattached||Women’s 4x100m|
|Austin Cole||Sherwood Park, Alta.||Rob Fisher||Capital City Track Club||Men’s 4x400m|
|Andre De Grasse*||Markham, Ont.||Rana Reider||Speed Academy Athletics Club||Men’s 4x100m|
|Crystal Emmanuel*||Toronto, Ont.||Charles Allen||Flying Angels Track Club||Women’s 4x100m|
|Daniel Harper*||Toronto, Ont.||Jason Kerr||Speed River||Men’s 4x400m|
|Shaina Harrison*||Maple, Ont.||Charles Allen||Flying Angels Track Club||Women’s 4x100m|
|Farah Jacques*||Gatineau, Que.||Hugh Conlin||Perfmax-Racing Club||Women’s 4x100m|
|Travia Jones||Regina, Sask.||Darryl Woodson||Unattached||Women’s 4x400m|
|Philip Osei*||Toronto, Ont.||Jason Kerr||Speed River||Men’s 4x400m|
|Madeline Price||Toronto, Ont.||Mark Mueller||Unattached||Women’s 4x400m|
|Brendon Rodney*||Etobicoke, Ont.||Maurice Wilson||Unattached||Men’s 4x100m|
|Whitney Rowe*||Burnaby, B.C.||Anthony Gardner||Unattached||Women’s 4x100m|
|Zoe Sherar||Toronto, Ont.||Jason Kerr||Speed River||Women’s 4x400m|
|Gavin Smellie*||Brampton, Ont.||Milt Ottey||Flying Angels Track Club||Men’s 4x100m|
|Maya Stephens||Toronto, Ont.||Aliann Pompey||Unattached||Women’s 4x400m|
|Aiyanna Stiverne||Laval, Que.||Ronald Morency||Unattached||Women’s 4x400m|
|Sage Watson||Medicine Hat, Alta.||Fred Harvey||Unattached||Women’s 4x400m|