With so many Canadians south of the border to compete at races in the U.S., it looks like Canadian track fans are going to have a lot to watch in the coming months ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. This weekend, multiple Canadians ran to great results, including Melissa Bishop-Nriagu, who hit Olympic standard in the 800m at a meet in California. For that result and many more, here’s another edition of the weekend recap.
Bishop-Nriagu hits standard
Racing at the Chula Vista High Performance meet in California, Bishop-Nriagu ran her best 800m since 2017, the year she set her national record of 1:57.01. Bishop-Nriagu crushed the rest of the field with her 1:59.04 finish. She crossed the line close to half a second under the Olympic 800m standard of 1:59.50.
Since 2017, when Bishop-Nriagu broke two minutes in the 800m on multiple occasions, no other Canadian woman has done so outdoors (Jenna Westaway ran the Canadian indoor record of 1:59.87 in 2019), but that changed on Saturday when Bishop-Nriagu proved she’s still a force to be reckoned with on the track. Also competing in California were Canadians Sam Murphy and Maite Bouchard, who finished second and third behind Bishop-Nriagu in the 800m. In the men’s 800m, Paralympic-hopeful Nate Riech won the race in 1:55.20.
Arop runs 800m world lead
Marco Arop was also in 800m action over the weekend, competing at his alma mater, Mississippi State University. Arop ran a season’s best 1:44.76, and like Bishop-Nriagu, he crushed the rest of the field by several seconds. At the time, Arop’s result was the world lead in the 800m, but that was lowered by Mexico’s Jesus Tonatiu Lopez just a day later, when he ran 1:44.40 in Kansas.
Canadian sweep in Oregon
It seemed to be an 800m kind of weekend for Canucks, as another three Canadian women raced the two-lap event in Oregon. Reigning 800m national champion Madeleine Kelly won her second race in a row, running a PB of 2:00.59. She was followed across the line by Lindsey Butterworth, who finished in 2:00.97. Rounding out the podium and completing a Canadian sweep was Lucia Stafford, who posted a time of 2:02.89. In fourth place was another Canadian, Addy Townsend.
On brand for the weekend, Canadians Olivier Desmeules and Stephen Evans raced (you guessed it) an 800m at the Trials of Miles meet in Kansas City. Desmeules finished in fourth place, crossing the line in 1:49.42, and Evans was just behind him in fifth in a time of 1:50.11.
John Gay also raced in Kansas City, although he bucked the 800m trend, instead running the 3,000m steeplechase. Gay ran a huge PB of 8:23.96 at Hayward Field on April 24, but he couldn’t replicate that result this weekend. He ended up running 8:33.98, finishing third.
In sprinting news, American Trayvon Bromell ran a world-leading 100m time at a meet in Florida on Thursday. He ran 9.88 seconds to take the win, finishing ahead of Andre De Grasse, who finished in second in 10.05.