Melissa Bishop doubled up in distance from her marquee event to win the 1,500m at the Johnny Loaring Classic in Windsor, Ont.
The 28-year-old Eganville, Ont. native notably defeated fellow Canadian Nicole Sifuentes, a two-time Olympian in the 1,500m, running 4:10.30. Sifuentes finished third in 4:14.39 while Shannon Osika was second in 4:11.38. Annie Leblanc, whom Bishop trained with for much of the winter and spring, was fourth in 4:16.92.
Bishop led the entire race on a cool and breezy Saturday evening in southern Ontario. It was the 2015 Pan Am Games 800m champion’s first outdoor race of 2017.
The former University of Windsor student rarely contests the 1,500m as she focuses primarily on the 800m. Saturday evening’s event was Bishop’s first outdoor race of 2017 and first race since February. Bishop will target the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London as the year’s focus as she is the defending silver medallist over 800m.
Bishop opened her outdoor campaign in 2016 in identical fashion, winning a 1,500m in Windsor, in 4:09.58, her personal best. That summer, she went on to improve her Canadian 800m record to 1:57.02 and finish fourth at the Olympics.
Bishop is expected to race again next weekend at the 2017 Prefontaine Classic, an IAAF Diamond League event, over the 800m. There, she will face the likes of the three women who beat her at the 2016 Olympics in the 800m including Caster Semenya, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Nyairera Wambui.
Cover photo by Claus Andersen/Athletics Canada.