The first of two Diamond League finals is only three days away, and several Canadians have made it to the most competitive final in track and field. At the Olympics and World Championships entries are limited to three per country, but in the Diamond League this rule doesn’t apply–which makes the finals some of the most competitive track racing in the world.
Here are the Canadians who have made it to the upcoming finals in Zurich (August 29) and Brussels (September 6).
Gabriela DeBues-Stafford – 1,500m and 5,000m
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Last session at altitude done 🙌 Now @jemmareekie and I rest before we're off to race the mile at the Birmingham Diamond League this Sunday (August 18th). You can tune in on the @cbc.sports live stream with your Sunday Brunch at 9:23AM ET (2:23PM local time). . 📸:@patscaasi ~ taken moments after Dan yelled at me, "You got it!" Me: "Really?! What did I run?!" Dan: "4:00.26!" Me: "Wasn't Lynn 4:00.27?!" 😅 Dan: "Yep!" #LikeaG #FamilyYoung #justdoit #nike
DeBues-Stafford has been such a strong (and unexpected) force in the 2019 Diamond League. The young Canadian has made the final in two events, something that’s very uncommon in middle distance running.
This double is totally possible as the 1,500m final will be run this week in Zurich and the 5,000m final will be run on September 6 in Brussels.
DeBues-Stafford began her record board rewrite in January of this year, opening her season with a 5,000m Canadian record. She then followed that up with a new indoor mile record, and ran her first-ever outdoor 5,000m at the Stockholm Diamond League, where she set a third Canadian record. Her fourth Canadian record came in Monaco where she ran the new outdoor mile record in 4:17.87. She followed Monaco up with a killer 1,500m run in London where she broke Lynn Kanuka’s record of 4:00.27 by one hundredth of a second, running 4:00.26.
Mohammed Ahmed – 5,000m
Ahmed is another Canadian who has had a record-breaking summer. The Bowerman Track Club runner became the first Canadian to run under 13 minutes in the 5,000m–a mark he’s had his eye on for some time. His new record is 12:58.16.
Aaron Brown – 200m
Brown’s best moment of the summer was likely defending his national 100m title at the Canadian Championships. He beat Andre De Grasse to take the title and has also gone sub-10 for the first time in his career this summer.
He’s made the final in the 200m and will be running against Noah Lyles, the man who keeps snagging Usian Bolt’s meet records. Lyles could drag the entire field to a historically fast 200m race.
Andre De Grasse – 100m and 200m
De Grasse had a rocky 2017 and 2018 but his 2019 is trending in the right direction. While he hasn’t delivered any races quite like his 2016 Rio Olympics, there’s a real chance he could be in similar form by the upcoming World Championships and next year’s Olympics.
He was second to Brown at the Canadian Championships in the 100m and chose not to run the 200m, but he’s still clocked a season’s best time of 9.98, just off of his personal best of 9.91 which he ran at Rio in 2016.
Brandon McBride – 800m
McBride has been extremely consistent this year and is fresh off of a Diamond League win in Paris. He’s run within striking distance of his Canadian record on several occasions and is in good form heading into the final. He set his Canadian record of 1:43.30 last summer in Monaco.
Gen Lalonde – 3,000m steeplechase
Lalonde broke her own Canadian 3,000m steeplechase record at the Shanghai Diamond League this summer in 9:29.82. Her previous record was set at 9:29.99 at the 2017 World Championships. She then went on to win her third-consecutive national championships in the steeplechase.