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Canadian athletes continue to shine on day two at World Indoor Championships

Damian Warner sits second to Simon Ehammer of Switzerland with one event left in the heptathlon

Three Canadian athletes reached the next round in day two action at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. Michelle Harrison and Bolade Ajomale both ran personal best performances in their heats to secure spots in the semi-final. Lindsey Butterworth of B.C. ran close to her seasonal best in the women’s 800m heats to get a spot in Sunday’s final, under the closest of margins.

Bolade Ajomale running a 6.57 personal best in the 60m heats 

Butterworth was sitting fifth in her heat with 150 metres to go when she unleashed a final surge to take the fourth spot ahead of Poland’s Angelika Cichocka in 2:01.99. The 800m final will be without the reigning Olympic silver medallist, Keely Hodgkinson of the U.K., as she bowed out before the start of the heats with an injury.

Canada’s Madeleine Kelly sat in the fastest qualifier position through three of four 800m heats, but her time of 2:02.06 wasn’t enough as her Canadian teammate Butterworth outmatched her in the fourth and final heat.

Madeleine Kelly before the start of heat one of the women’s 800m

In the women’s 60m hurdles, Harrison knew it would take a personal best performance to get her into the semi-final, delivering a personal best 8.11 seconds to get a spot in Saturday’s semi.

A spare on Canada’s 4x100m silver medal-winning relay team in Tokyo, Ajomale made his statement in the 60m heats at world indoors, clocking a personal best 6.57 seconds to win the heat in commanding fashion. He will face tough competition in his semi-final, as he will be up against Christian Coleman of the U.S., who holds the 60m world lead this season of 6.45 seconds.

Damian Warner
Damian Warner in the 60m hurdles at World Indoors in 2018. Photo: Athletics Canada/Facebook

The defending Olympic decathlon champion, Damian Warner, started day two of the heptathlon with a personal best run in the 60m hurdles, giving himself a 38-point lead on Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer. In the pole vault, Ehammer outjumped warner by 30 centimetres to regain the lead in the men’s heptathlon with only one event to go. Although Warner has a faster personal best over 1,000m, Ehammer carries a 31-point lead over Warner heading into the final event.

The Olympic 1,500m champion and indoor world record holder, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, handily controlled his 1,500m heat, jogging the last 100m in to the line for second place behind Teddese Lemi of Ethiopia. Canada’s Cameron Proceviat, who was making his Team Canada debut, was fourth in heat four of the men’s 1,500m. Proceviat’s heat got out to a weird start, as Kenya’s Abel Kipsang took the pack through 400m in 55 seconds., eventually slowing down to a pedestrian pace over the next four laps. This tactic seemed to exhaust many of the other runners in the heat, including Proceviat, as Kipsang closed hard over the final 400m metres to win heat four.

The 20-year-old phenom, Yaroslava Mahuchikh, made history in the women’s high jump, winning Ukraine’s first medal of the games. Machuchikh had the crowd on their feet, as she jumped to a world-leading height of 2.02 metres to win gold for the yellow and blue.

Later to come on March 19:

Men’s 800m (final) – Marco Arop (2:00 p.m. ET)

Men’s heptathlon (final) – Damian Warner (2:30 p.m. ET)

Women’s 1,500m (final) – Lucia Stafford (3:30 p.m. ET)

Women’s 60m hurdles (final) – Michelle Harrison (4:00 p.m. ET)

Men’s 60m (final) – Bolade Ajomale (4:15 p.m. ET)

You can catch all the action surrounding the 2022 World Indoor Championships onCBC Sports or online via the CBC Gem app. There will also be live coverage of the championship aired on the World Athletics YouTube page.

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