For the previous three months, we’ve been chatting across the workplace about what would possibly occur on the 2023 World Championships. Now, with only a few days left till the kickoff on Aug. 19, Canadian athletes are on the brink of go for gold and glory. Final time, Canada received 4 medals on the championships–a gold, a silver and a bronze in monitor occasions, plus a silver within the hammer throw. So what can we anticipate from our athletes this 12 months?
Can Damian Warner get redemption?
Damian Warner is likely one of the most dominant decathletes in historical past, boasting an Olympic title, a world indoor title and a group of world championship medals. Nonetheless, the one accolade lacking from his spectacular file is world championship gold. Final 12 months in Eugene, Ore., he held a commanding lead within the decathlon till the 400m–the fifth of 10 occasions spanning two days. Through the 400m race, which marked the ultimate occasion of the primary day, Warner pulled his hamstring a mere 100 metres into the race. In consequence, he was compelled to withdraw.
Warner’s premature exit created a possibility for his compatriot and Canadian teammate, Pierce LePage, which LePage capitalized on by reaching private bests in three occasions, securing a silver medal behind France’s Kevin Mayer. LePage began 2023 with a bang, successful the esteemed decathlon Hypomeeting held in Götzis, Austria. He additionally holds the coveted prime rank amongst decathletes, in response to World Athletics, outshining each Mayer and Warner.
For the previous six years, Mayer has been Warner’s biggest rival. At 31, Mayer boasts a formidable monitor file as a two-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist. He additionally stands because the world file holder, with a powerful 9,126 factors achieved on the Decastar occasion in Talence, France, in 2018. Past his achievements on the Tokyo Olympics, Mayer has constantly outperformed LePage and Warner, successful gold in two of the final three world championships on this self-discipline.
The lads’s decathlon will happen on Aug. 25 and 26.
What can we anticipate from Andre De Grasse within the 200m?
Presumably probably the most urgent query for each Canadian monitor and subject fanatic is what we are able to anticipate from Andre De Grasse in Budapest. Over the previous two seasons, the 28-year-old has grappled with consistency points, however a glimmer of classic De Grasse brilliance emerged on the 2023 Canadian Observe and Discipline Championships, the place he soared to victory within the males’s 200m within the ultimate 50 metres, clocking a season’s better of 20.01 seconds after narrowly lacking the 100m ultimate two nights earlier. After his nationwide title, his successful streak continued with a 200m victory on the Ed Murphey Basic in Memphis, Tenn., which he received in 20.19 seconds.
De Grasse thrives on the massive stage and has earned a popularity as a performer who shines brightest when the stakes are excessive. The lads’s 200m lineup on the 2023 World Championships mirrors the sector seen on the Tokyo Olympics, the place De Grasse claimed gold for Group Canada. Noah Lyles enters the championships because the favorite, holding the world-leading time of 19.47 seconds and sustaining an unbeaten file within the self-discipline for the previous two years. Lyles, the 2019 world champion, was thought-about the frontrunner heading into the 2020 Olympics however ended up with bronze behind U.S. sprinter Kenny Bednarek and De Grasse–the 2 sprinters who final beat him.
Drawing insights from De Grasse’s spectacular 20.01 efficiency in Langley, B.C., it’s noteworthy that he additionally clocked the same time of 19.97 (+1.2 m/s) in his ultimate 200m race earlier than the Tokyo Olympics. The lads’s 200m class is brimming with distinctive expertise, but if De Grasse can navigate the heats and ship a near-season-best efficiency within the semi-final, it could be unwise to low cost the potential of witnessing his signature magic within the ultimate.
Preliminary rounds are slated for Aug. 23, with the semi-finals and ultimate on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25.
How far can Savannah Sutherland go?
Savannah Sutherland of Borden, Sask., may very nicely possess the very best potential amongst Canadian athletes making their world championship debut in Budapest. The 20-year-old 400m hurdler has had a protracted, outstanding 2023 season, claiming an NCAA nationwide title within the ladies’s 400mH amid powerful competitors and setting a U23 Canadian file of 54.45 seconds. All through the season, Sutherland has solely suffered a single loss in a 400mH race. With Sydney McLaughlin’s absence on the upcoming world championships, except for Femke Bol and Dalilah Muhammed, there’s an open alternative for a newcomer on the ladies’s hurdles podium.
Regardless of her comparatively restricted world championship publicity, Sutherland, a second-year student-athlete on the College of Michigan, demonstrates spectacular composure and a fearless racing mindset. Her private greatest falls only a tenth of a second behind Sage Watson’s hurdles file of 54.32, a file that might probably be damaged in Budapest, given the elevated degree of competitors. Maintain an eye fixed out for Sutherland to safe a spot within the ultimate.
The heats kick off on Aug. 21, with the semi-finals and ultimate on Aug. 22 and 24.
Will Marco Arop win 800m gold?
Canada’s Marco Arop is at present the quickest males’s 800m runner on the earth (he’s ranked #1 by World Athletics), and he has constantly demonstrated the power to realize occasions of 1:44 to 1:43 on any given day. Because the Tokyo Olympics, Arop has shifted his racing type, and now takes extra management of the two-lap race to make sure a quick and trustworthy consequence. This technique has confirmed efficient, as he received bronze finally 12 months’s world championships, main the race till the ultimate 50 metres. He was finally handed by Algeria’s Djamel Sedjati and Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir, the 2020 Olympic 800m champion.
The journey to the ultimate of the lads’s 800m is all the time fierce, and Arop’s front-running technique helps him evade the jostling and pushing inside the pack. His largest problem has been his closing 100m, but it surely’s his opening 700m that has formed him into the world-class 800m runner that he at present is. If he can handle a break up of 50-51 seconds on the opening lap and place himself favourably on the bell, he possesses the velocity and endurance to carry off the remainder of the sector (with the doable exception of Korir, who hasn’t raced a lot in 2023).
The heats of the lads’s 800m are on Aug. 22, with the semi-finals and ultimate on Aug. 24 and Aug. 26.
May Natasha Wodak be a darkish horse within the ladies’s marathon?
Since transitioning to the marathon in 2020, Vancouver’s Natasha Wodak has constantly delivered stellar performances (except for her disappointing efficiency at Boston in 2022). She positioned thirteenth total in a aggressive marathon subject on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and additional showcased her prowess by shattering the Canadian ladies’s marathon file with a time of two:23:12 on the 2022 Berlin Marathon. Typically, in world championship races, the marathon unfolds as a strategic contest, somewhat than a pure take a look at of velocity, and that is the place Wodak’s strengths come to the forefront. At 41, she proves herself to be a dependable contender, progressively refining her marathon efficiency by way of every coaching cycle. Her strategy to the space is marked by magnificence and endurance mid-race. Throughout her record-breaking run in Berlin, Wodak negative-split the race, practically securing a top-10 end, finally ending twelfth.
An identical state of affairs may unfold in Budapest, as Wodak arrives with an injury-free coaching buildup following her withdrawal from the 2023 London Marathon as a consequence of sickness. Whereas the defending champion Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia and bronze medallist Lonah Salpeter return to the sector, quite a few outstanding figures are absent from the marathon, specializing in fall marathon majors. If Wodak maintains her strategy, she may actually safe a top-10 placement in Budapest.
Scheduled for the penultimate day of the 2023 World Championships, the ladies’s marathon takes place on Saturday, Aug. 26.
The 2023 World Athletics Championships are going down from August 19-27 on the Nationwide Stadium in Budapest, Hungary. All of the motion shall be dropped at you by Canadian Operating and Asics Canada. Observe us on Twitter on Instagram for all issues Group Canada and up-to-date unique information and content material.