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Excitement and heartbreak define Day Two for Canada at World Championships

Aaron Brown and Sarah Mitton come close to a medal, while three Canadian men reach the semi-finals in the 1,500m

aaron brown worlds 2022 Photo by: Kevin Morris

It was an up and down day for Team Canada on Day 2 of competition at the World Athletics Championships from Eugene, Ore. The day was highlighted by Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, Cameron Proceviat and William Paulson all reaching the semi-final for Canada out of the men’s 1,500m heats.

Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen looking back at Canada’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot in heat 2 of the men’s 1,500m. Photo: Kevin Morris

Philibert-Thiboutot ran a season’s best time of 3:35.02 in heat two to finish second, earning him an automatic qualifying spot in Sunday’s semi-final. “I knew going into the race our heat was going to be fast,” says Philibert-Thiboutot. “Today, I felt really comfortable. The race was run perfectly for 1,500m to 5,000m runners like myself.”

The 31-year-old middle distance runner from Quebec City remained at the front of the heat until 150m to go, then made his move along the outside to take second behind Australia’s Stewart McSweyn (3:34.91). The defending 1,500m Olympic champion, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, was third in 3:35.12 to also qualify for Sunday’s semis.

In the first heat, Proceviat hung at the back for a majority of the race to avoid jostling for position. The Burnaby, B.C. native found himself boxed in with 200m left, finishing ninth in 3:37.43. Proceviat was anxious from the mixed zone, holding the final qualifying spot for the semi-final with the last heat to come. “I have more gas in the tank,” says Proceviat. “I know I’m better than what I ran today.” After a slow third heat, the 28-year-old making his world outdoor championship debut reaches his first championship semi.

The third heat was a slow, tactical affair, controlled by 2020 Olympic silver medallist from Team GB Josh Kerr from the start. Canada’s Paulson remained up front for the majority of the race, putting himself in a great position late. Paulson wound up fourth in 3:39.21, securing an automatic qualifying spot for Sunday. “It cool to compete here in Eugene, where I live and train with Oregon Track Club,” says Paulson. “I had friends and family in the crowd tonight supporting me.”

Canadian 1,500m runner William Paulson sporting the Oregon Track Club kit at the Prefontaine Classic earlier this year. Photo: Kevin Morris

“It’s awesome to see three Canadians reaching the semi-final in the 1,500m,” says Paulson. “There’s a real resurgence in Canadian distance running coming on at the moment, and I am excited to be a part of it.”

Heartbreak for Canada in the women’s shot put

Sarah Mitton had the third-farthest throw in 2022 (20.33m) heading into the competition. After qualifying for the final on Friday with a throw of 19.18m, her biggest throw of the competition came in round six of the final. The Brooklyn, N.S. native threw 19.77m to tie Jessica Schilder of the Netherlands. Shot put rules determine tie-breaks by going back to the athlete’s second farthest throw, Mitton’s 19.18m and Schilder’s 19.77m, leaving Mitton just off the podium for fourth place.

Canada’s Sarah Mitton wound up fourth place in the shot put from tiebreak rules. Photo: Kevin Morris

Fred Kerley takes gold and American men sweep the 100m podium at home

At Thursday’s press conference, Kerley said he came to Worlds to do one thing–win. On Sunday night, he delivered on his goal, winning the men’s 100m in 9.86 seconds. His U.S. teammates Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell came through second and third in 9.88 seconds.

Canada’s Aaron Brown reached his second straight World Championship 100m final, but ultimately finished eighth, in 10.07 seconds. Brown will regroup for the heats of the 200m on Monday evening.

The Olympic 100m bronze medallist, Andre De Grasse, did not reach the final, after posting a time of 10.18 seconds in the semis. “I didn’t feel at my best today, that’s all there is to it,” says De Grasse. He mentioned to reporters that it would be a game-time decision for the heats of the 200m, but he is focused on being there for Team Canada in the 4x100m relay.

Italy’s Marcell Lamont Jacobs withdrew from the 100m semi-finals before the start, citing a nagging glute injury holding him back from competing at his best.

The men’s marathon will kick off the Day 3 competition at the 2022 World Athletics Championships at 9 a.m. E.T. Canada’s Cam Levins, Rory Linkletter and Ben Preisner will chase personal best times on a flat and shaded course, which runs through the heart of Eugene-Springfield.

The 2022 World Athletics Championships are taking place from July 15-25 from Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. All the action will be brought to you by Canadian Running and Asics Canada. Follow us on Twitter on Instagram for all things Team Canada and up-to-date exclusive news and content.