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Beyond the podium: Canada’s fourth-place finishes at the Rio Olympics

Canada's fourth-place finishers are among the best in the world. It happened four times for Canada's athletics team at the Rio Olympics (photo: COC).

Canada's fourth-place

Canada’s athletics team had its most successful Olympics since the 1932 Games with six medals in Rio. Beyond the podium finishers, there were four other performances by Canadians that put them among the best in the world.

RELATED: The full list of medallists and top-eight finishers on Canada’s athletics team.

A fourth place finish has been referred to as the “tin medal” as the top-three finishers are awarded gold, silver and bronze. Here is an in-depth look Canada’s fourth-place finishes in athletics.

Melissa Bishop – Women’s 800m


Melissa Bishop, a medal contender entering the Rio Olympics, finished fourth in the women’s 800m missing third place by 0.13 seconds. The Eganville, Ont. set a new Canadian record running 1:57.02 in one of the most competitive fields of the Olympics. The 28-year-old ran a smart race and was in a good position entering the final straightaway before being edged out by Kenya’s Margaret Wambui.


​”It’s really kind of hard to describe this right now,” Bishop told the CBC after the race. “This is what we work for for a decade and to be that close. This is tough.”

Evan Dunfee – 50K race walk

In one of the most-talked about moments of the Rio Olympics, Evan Dunfee was upgraded to a bronze medal after Canada filed a protest for a mid-race incident involving contact. Japan’s Hirooki Arai and Dunfee appeared to bump with just 2K left in the nearly-four-hour race. Japan filed a second appeal, which reversed Dunfee’s bronze and resulted in the original results being final.


Dunfee took the entire situation in stride and decided not to take the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He was a candidate for Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony for his class and sportsmanship though that honour went to swimmer Penny Oleksiak.

Mohammed Ahmed – Men’s 5,000m

Mo Ahmed, the Canadian record holder in the event, was originally disqualified after finishing the men’s 5,000m in fifth. He, along with two others, were DQed but after successful appeals, two of the three including Ahmed were reinstated. The initial fourth-place finisher, Muktar Edris, was not reinstated and therefore Ahmed was moving up to fourth.


“The podium was right there, I could taste it,” Ahmed told the CBC after the race. “To be that close is absolutely disappointing, I put everything into this race.”

RELATED: Photos: The best and worst track kits at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

His fourth-place finish is the best-ever by a Canadian in the 12.5-lap race at the Olympics. Earlier in 2016, Ahmed set the national 5,000m record running 13:01.74. He ran 13:05 in the 5,000m final in Rio.

Carline Muir, Alicia Brown, Noelle Montcalm and Sage Watson – Women’s 4x400m relay

Canada had one of its best-ever results in the women’s 4x400m relay in Rio. The quartet of Carline Muir, Alicia Brown, Sage Watson and Noelle Montcalm finished fourth in the women’s relay final and ran 3:26.43. Canada’s best result in the women’s 4x400m relay is a silver medal from the 1984 Olympics.

“We just competed, put it all out there and fought for a medal,” Watson, the team’s anchor, said after the race. Canada finished less than a second off the podium.