The 4x200-metre relay quartet of Gavin Smellie (Brampton, Ont.), Brendon Rodney (Brampton, Ont.), Andre De Grasse (Markham, Ont.) and Aaron Brown (Toronto) crossed the line first in a time of 1:19.42. The 4x200-metres gold is the first medal won by a Canadian team at the IAAF World Relays.
Rain showers made for a wet track surface, which led to dicey conditions for exchanges at top speed, and several teams crashed out throughout the evening. The weather, disappointment in the 4x100-metre final and near disqualification in heats couldn’t get in the way of this squad’s determination to win.
“We stayed focused after the issues in our heat. It felt amazing to run that well in the final,” said Gavin Smellie who ran the leadoff leg for Canada. “It was just stressful in the prelims. I was happy we could get beyond that and get the gold.”
During the victory lap, IAAF World Championship and Olympic medal winner Aaron Brown let it it be know that he and his Canadian teammates are ready to battle for the top spot on the podium at major championships.
“I’m confident in my guys. These three are my brothers right here. We’ve been training hard and we know we’re fast,” said Brown. “We can compete with the best. When we line up with them (the best in the world), I’m confident in our abilities.”
This is the third edition of IAAF World Relays. The next event will take place in 2019 with the Bahamas once again playing host.
Men’s 4x100-metre relay
Heats: 38.21, winner Heat 2 with overall fastest time
Final: DNF (dropped baton)
Women’s 4x100-metre relay
Heats: 44.98, sixth place in Heat 1
B Final: DQ (exchange zone violation)
Men’s 4x200-metre relay
Heats: 1:21.11, winner Heat 1 with overall fastest time
Final: 1:19.42, gold medal
Women’s 4x400-metre relay
Heats: 3:33.54, third place Heat 2
B Final: 3:35.07, second place
Men’s 4x400-metre relay
Heats: 3:08.05, sixth place Heat 1
B Final: 3:12.52, seventh place
Story and Photo from Athletics Canada | Athletics.ca