Gabriela DeBues-Stafford is lining up tomorrow in Rome for her fourth race of 2019, and, quite possibly, her fourth Canadian record. The 23-year-old has had a stellar 2019 thus far, setting three new Canadian records in the indoor 5,000m and mile and most recently the outdoor 5,000m at the Stockholm Diamond League.
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I guess last night was a good night to be a Toronto athlete! #WETHENORTH Stoked about running a Canadian record in a bumpy race but most importantly I'm happy I ended up being an active participant in a Diamond League race. I did not anticipate my early move to stay out of trouble in the last lap would propel me into the lead – so you better believe that that just got me hungry for more. Up next back to my roots – a 1500m in Rome. #TorontoProud #FamilyYoung #LikeaG #justdoit #DiamondsAreAGirlsBestFriend . . . . #StockholmDL#RoadtotheFinal #DiamondLeague #nikewomen #niketoronto #niketraining #nikerunning
DeBues-Stafford knew that no one expected much of her in Stockholm. “I knew if things went well I could get the Canadian record, but no one was watching for me in that race. The 5,000m in Glasgow, where I set the indoor record, was essentially a time trial–all I had to do was chase Laura [Muir]. But the Diamond League is a more dynamic race, so it felt different. I wanted to run the best race I could and make sure the indoor 5,000m wasn’t a fluke.”
Heading into Rome, DeBues-Stafford has a real shot at running a new Canadian 1,500m record. The current mark was set by Lynn Kanuka at 4:00.27 in 1985, and it’s one of the oldest records in the Canadian books. Becoming the first Canadian woman to run under 4:00.00 in the 1,500m is a big ask, but not out of the question for DeBues-Stafford. Her race goes at 3:15 p.m. EDT tomorrow.
DeBues-Stafford isn’t the only Canadian to watch on Thursday. Justyn Knight is making his Diamond League debut in the 5,000m and will run alongside Canadian record-holder Mohammed Ahmed. Knight has already run the world championship standard in the event this year, hitting a 13:20.80 at Payton Jordan in early May. Thursday will be Ahmed’s 5,000m season opener.
Sage Watson will also be racing the 400m hurdles on Thursday, only days out from her season opener in Prague. Watson represented Canada at the World Relays in May. Brandon McBride, who opened his 2019 outdoor season in Nashville last Friday will be racing the 800m. The Canadian record-holder is set to line up against a stacked field. Jonathan Cabral will also be racing the 110m hurdles.
400m hurdles – 2:13 p.m. EDT
800m – 2:23 p.m. EDT
5,000m – 2:45 p.m. EDT
1,500m – 3:15 p.m. EDT
110m hurdles – 3:35 p.m. EDT
The live feed can be found at cbcsports.ca here.