Madeleine Kelly of the University of Toronto Track Club is the new senior women’s 800m national champion, winning last night’s final with a killer kick in the final 50m. Finishing in 2:02.37, Kelly edged past four-time national champion, Canadian record-holder, 2015 world championship silver medallist and Olympian Melissa Bishop-Nriagu at the line. (Bishop-Nriagu, who finished second in 2:02.40, is back after having a baby last year.)

Laurence Côté of Laval pulled off a surprising third-place finish, in 2:02.50. 2018 champion Lindsey Butterworth and Canadian indoor 800m champion and 1K Canadian record-holder Jenna Westaway were also in the race, finishing fourth and eighth.

 

Kelly, who has set several new personal bests this year, couldn’t believe she had won. “I thought on my perfect day, I’d be third–that was the goal,” Kelly said after the race. She also expressed gratitude to Bishop-Nriagu, who she said she has looked up to for as long as she’s been running. Both are originally from the Ottawa Valley, Kelly growing up in Pembroke and Bishop-Nriagu in Eganville.

RELATED: How Melissa Bishop-Nriagu came back stronger from pregnancy

Men’s 100m

In the men’s 100m, all eyes were on Olympic bronze medallist Andre De Grasse and 2018 Canadian champion Aaron Brown on Friday evening. Running within 0.02 seconds of each other in separate heats, tension was high as they toed the line in adjacent lanes for the final, and it didn’t let up until several moments after a thrilling photo-finish. Brown came out on top, a mere three one-thousandths of a second ahead of De Grasse at the line, in 10.021 to De Grasse’s 10.024. Bismark Boateng was third, in 10.246.

The mood of excitement has been as high as the air temperature at the Canadian National Track and Field Championships in Montreal this weekend, with first-place finishers who have run the world championship standard automatically qualifying for this year’s meet in Doha in September.

RELATED: The complete list of Canadians with World Championship standard

Competition continues today, with Myles Misener-Daley racing the U20 200m final at 11:50 a.m. and Gabriela Debues-Stafford in the senior women’s 1,500m final at 12:45 p.m., among others.

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