By Brendan Shykora
Standing on the podium is that much sweeter when you’re also atop home soil – and that was the case for four local athletes on the fourth day of the 2018 Canadian Track and Field Championships.
Ottawa Lions’ Tim Nedow pumped up the crowd before making his final toss in the senior men’s shot put, where he repeated as the gold medalist with a season’s best 20.94 metres.
Though he cleared 2nd place by nearly two metres, the 27-year-old looked frustrated. Nedow came just 4 cm short of his personal best, which sits just before the magic 21-metre mark.
“I was really happy, that was probably my best series ever,” he said on his walk to the podium. “But I’ve been stuck at 20.98 for four years.”
Nedow’s brother, Thomas Nedow, had better luck setting a new personal best, surpassing his old mark of 15.61 m with a 16.06 m throw. It was the first time the two brothers competed in the same event, Thomas having turned senior age this year.
Thomas placed 7th in the event. “It’s my first senior track meet so I wasn’t expecting too much for placing, but I threw well so that’s all that matters,” he said.
Elsewhere in the field events, Sultana Frizell put on an extra show for the crowd at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility when she cartwheeled her way onto the podium after a bronze medal performance in women’s senior hammer throw.
“I’ve done it a couple times in Germany, and they actually request it now,” Frizell said of her stylish podium entry.
Frizell, 33, is the Canadian record holder for hammer throw and winner of the event at last year’s championships. This year she threw 61.84 metres –well behind her season’s best 68.01.
But training has been a secondary priority to education for Frizell this year, and she came to nationals in the middle of a 16-month intensive massage therapy program.
Full-time school has forced Frizell to be a “weekend warrior” when it comes to training, making her 3rd place showing all the more impressive.
Kayla Vieux was ranked 4th coming into the Under-20 women’s 100 m final, but walked away with the silver medal after putting down a time of 12.22 seconds.
The Grade 11 CANI Athletics athlete has only been doing outdoor track for two years. “I like where I am right now,” she said after the sprint. “At the same time, I can do even better.”
Seventeen-year-old Lion Brandon Ovington hit the third step of the podium with a 46.83 m throw in the U20 men’s discus, while Eliezer Adjibi of CANI also took bronze in U20 action, running 10.84 in the men’s 100 m.
Adjibi came in as the highest ranked athlete in the event with a season’s best of 10.58 seconds.
“Coming out of the block my legs just left me,” he said, frustrated by his performance. The potential for gold was certainly there: Adjibi ran a 10.68 in the prelim, faster than any other times that day.
There were a pair of close medal tries by Ottawa long jumpers. Divya Biswal finished 4th among senior women with a 5.72 m jump in the finals.
Biswal’s boyfriend and coach Justin Wood gave her calm instruction between jumps. “She just needs to hit the board hard,” he said between jumps. “If she does that she’ll go well over six metres.”
Competing against Canadian record holder Christabel Nettey (who took gold with a 6.21 m jump), Biswal said she was happy to see how well her fellow Canadians performed.
“In jumps we’re not known as a big powerhouse, but hopefully we will be by the 2020 Olympics.”
Biswal will have another shot at a medal at 5 p.m. Saturday when she competes in the triple jump, the event she earned a bronze in at last year’s nationals.
Bryson Patterson of CANI finished 5th in men’s long jump with a 7.40 m jump, coming close to his season’s best of 7.45 m. A two-time silver medalist at last year’s nationals, Patterson says his season “isn’t ending off here” as he heads to Belgium on Sunday to for Athletics Canada’s European tour.
In the women’s 100 m para ambulatory, Larissa Brown finished 4th with a time of 13.76. The winner of this event in years’ past, Brown was injured all last year with a meniscus tear and only started training again in January.
“I wasn’t able to have the season that I wanted,” said Brown, who also moved to Toronto and changed coaches this year. “There’s been a lot of changes this year, but I’m ready for next year.”
The 2018 Track and Field Championships continue through Sunday, July 8.
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