Canadian Olympian Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (CPT) has ended a five-year sponsorship with Asics, and will instead be wearing New Balance gear at his upcoming races. The 1,500m runner announced his new sponsorship deal on Wednesday morning via Instagram.
Since 2015, CPT has solidified his place among top Canadian distance runners. Throughout his time with Asics, he set numerous Quebec records, including the indoor 1,000m, 1,500m and 3,000m provincial records, the mile and the outdoor 3,000m. After a one-year hiatus from competition due to injury, he returned to the track by setting yet another Quebec record in the 5,000m in December 2019.
Philibert-Thiboutot became a free agent after the new year, which is when he got in touch with the people at New Balance. He says they ‘really hit it off’, and explained that their care for their athletes as well as the products they offer for the track is what fuelled the switch. He will be joining the New Balance team along with Jean-Simon Desgagnes, and Erin Teschuk.
After a lack of races during 2020 due to COVID-19, 30-year-old Philibert-Thiboutot has started 2021 off strong, running a personal best and Quebec record indoor 3,000m time of 7:49.82 at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany. Then on Feb. 3 he clocked a personal best in the indoor 1,500m in Dortmund, Germany, in 3:40.21. He says that he has used the extra year to improve, and that his training is as good as ever.
“My coach and I really took advantage of the extra year to build volume and increase load slowly,” he explains. “Because of that, I have been able to really turn it on and maintain good volume since September.
Philibert-Thiboutot has been weathering the COVID-19 pandemic in Paris, training at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance. After injury prevented him from getting a good ranking in 2019, he is focused on establishing a solid world ranking in the 1,500m and 5,000m, and running the Olympic qualifying standard in either or both events. His next race will be on Feb. 26 in Toulon, France, where he will be competing in an outdoor 5,000m. He is confident that the products offered by New Balance will help him to break all of his PB’s this season, and says that the working environment and care for athletes at New Balance is something he has never seen before.
“Feeling like you belong in a brand feels truly uplifiting and I’m sure that can help my running in many ways.”