Last weekend Athletics Canada made the unfortunate announcement that they’d decided to withdraw the Canadian team from the World Athletics Relays taking place in Poland this weekend. The decision was made in light of the COVID-19 situation around the world. Most of the athletes supported AC’s decision, and 2016 Olympian Aaron Brown told the CBC he isn’t worried about his relay team’s chances of making Canada’s Olympic roster.
— Glenroy Gilbert (@GlenroyGilbert) April 24, 2021
Brown was a member of the 4x100m team that won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. So far, however, the only Canadian team that has already qualified for the Olympics is the women’s 4x400m squad, after their eighth-place finish at the World Championships in Doha in 2019. Brown’s 4x100m team with Gavin Smellie, Brendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse finished sixth in their heat and missed out on qualifying for the final by five 1000ths of a second. This means they have yet to qualify for the Games, and the World Relays would have been their best opportunity to do so.
Currently, the men’s 4x100m relay team is sitting in ninth in the world rankings, but after a solid performance in Louisiana last weekend, Brown told the CBC he feels confident his team will make it to Tokyo. The team last weekend consisted of Brown, Bismark Boateng, Jerome Blake, and EJ Floreal.
“To go 38.49 at this time of the season with people at different legs is encouraging,” Brown said.
He added that though it’s tough to say how the team would have done in Poland, he believes they would have been competitive with this squad. Without the WA Relays, the team won’t be competing for another month, and Brown is hopeful they’ll be able to run at a meet early in the Diamond League season, which begins on May 23 in Gateshead, England.