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HIGH ACHIEVERS: Ottawa Lions place 2nd in exciting finish at Ontario open athletics championships

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

By Martin Cleary

The Tokyo Summer Olympics have provided plenty of excitement and drama, when it comes to athletics. Not to be left behind, the Athletics Ontario open and para championships had their own big climax.

The Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club and the new Royal City Track Club in Guelph were deadlocked at 103 points each with only the men’s 4×400-metre race left on the schedule in Toronto. And the winner was… Royal City.

Not only did Royal City win the relay in 3:21.51, which was slightly more than a second ahead of Lions’ Luca Nicoletti, Leewinchell Jean, Fabrice Nonez and David Moulongou, but also it earned the team title, 113-111.

C.A.N.I. Athletics of Ottawa also fared well with two gold- and two silver-medal performances from its men’s team to finish fifth overall in the team standings with 63 points.

But Ottawa athletics fans could take some joy from a Royal City victory. Ottawa sprinter Shyvonne Roxborough represents that club and won the women’s open 100 metres, 11.40, and 200 metres, 23.77.

Micha Powell, a former Gatineau resident who is running as an independent in Toronto and not for a club, actually was first in the 200 metres in 23.37, which was the sixth fastest time run by a Canadian this season.

Powell, whose parents are three-time Olympian Rosey Edeh, a CTV Morning Live Ottawa host, and world long-jump record holder Mike Powell, also won the 400 metres in a season-best 52.31, which is No. 5 in Canada.

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Although Lions’ Alexandra Telford placed second to Powell in the women’s 400 metres, she was elevated to first in 55.85 and earned 10 first-place team points. She also was third in the 400-metre hurdles in a personal-best 1:00.35.

Lions’ Bianca Borgella counted three wins – para women’s ambulatory 400 metres in a Canadian T13 record 1:04.30, para 100 metres in 12.76 and anchoring the open 4×100 relay team of Doyin Ogunremi, Vanessa Lu Langley and Kelly Brennan.

Helena Jovic of the Lions was third in the women’s 400 metres in 56.88 and part of the winning 4×400-metre relay team with Madison Clarke, Telford and Ogunremi in 3:52.44.

It took three years, which included dealing with injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lions’ Nicholas Pedersen finally got to run his first 3,000-metre steeplechase, which he won by more than 71 seconds in 9:44.80.

Leewinchell Jean of the Lions ran a personal best by nine-tenths of a second, 52.86, to place second in the men’s open 400-metre hurdles. Clubmate Stephen Evans was third in the men’s 800 metres in 1:50.14.

The Lions’ relay team of David Adeleye, Luca Nicoletti, David Moulongou and Bertwin Ben-Smith were victorious in the men’s open 4×100-metre relay in 42.40.

Eliezer Adjibi. File photo

Eliezer Adjibi of C.A.N.I. won the men’s open 100 metres in 10.43, and finished second over 200 metres, losing the gold in a photo finish. He was timed in 21.360, while Michael Roth of St. Thomas Legion won in 21.359.

Bryson Patterson of C.A.N.I. was the only athlete to reach seven metres in the open men’s long jump, when he went 7.08 metres on his final jump of the competition, which included three fouls in the middle rounds.

C.A.N.I.’s Hans Lafleur was second in the men’s open high jump at 2.05 metres, while teammate Thomas Becker took fourth at 2.00 metres.

Brett Babcock of the National Capital Track and Field Club was second in the men’s para wheelchair 200 metres, 50.05, and posted thirds in the 100 metres, 25.55, and 400 metres, 1:37.54.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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