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.

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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.

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.”

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Sage Watson. Photo: Athletics Canada

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:

Name Hometown Personal coach Club Event
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

 

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