Tag Archives: $100m

Quebec’s $100M mental health funding announcement pushed up in wake of sword attack in capital

In his first public address since a sword attack that killed two people in Quebec’s capital on Halloween, Premier François Legault says the province will invest more time and money into improving mental health services. 

“What happened on Saturday night is appalling,” Legault said at a news conference Monday morning. “It’s hard to understand how such violence can occur. It raises questions about mental illness.”

“We can reduce the impacts for certain people who have mental illness by offering more services,” he said.   

When announcing details of $ 100 million in provincial funding for mental health services Monday afternoon, Lionel Carmant, Quebec’s junior health minister, said he didn’t want to draw any links between the pandemic’s effects on people’s mental health and the attack, but said the government was taking those effects seriously.  

The funding announcement was expected next week, but was pushed ahead in light of the attacks. 

On Sunday, 24-year-old Carl Girouard was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder after allegedly attacking seven people in Old Quebec on Halloween night with a sword while dressed in a medieval outfit. He is expected back in court Thursday. 

Carmant said he also wanted to make sure people don’t confuse mental health issues with mental health illnesses, and said that people who experience either are rarely violent. 

“I think that what happened this weekend was unpredictable and that we can’t make a definitive link to the pandemic.”

A third of the $ 100 million in funding will go toward reducing wait lists for mental health services, both in public health and education settings. There are 16,000 people in line for mental health services, Carmant said. 

Another third of the money will go to improving services in health facilities. Of the rest of the funding, $ 19 million will go to street workers who are part of a team called Sentinelle, whose role is to meet with vulnerable populations, and $ 10 million will go to community organizations providing mental health services. 

Too soon to diagnose suspect, expert says

Though experts say it is too soon to diagnose the suspect in the attacks, some drew comparisons to the trauma experienced in the wake of the Quebec City mosque shooting. Meanwhile, the province also moved to provide psychosocial supports for those affected by the attacks.

Marc-André Lamontagne, a psychologist who interviewed the Quebec City mosque shooter over two days in 2018, said there are some commonalities between the two incidents, namely that they occurred in a public place and people were not expecting to be attacked. 

“But when it comes to motivation, what’s hidden behind the act, the personal history — for now, we don’t know enough to establish resemblance between the two cases,” Lamontagne said. 

University of Ottawa psychology professor Tracy Vaillancourt, who studies the links between mental health and violence as a Canada Tier 1 Research Chair, pointed out that the mosque shooting “was a targeted event — it was directed at individuals because of their religion.”


Streets were blocked off and orange tape was strung up throughout the Old Quebec on Sunday. (Jean-Claude Taliana/Radio-Canada)

Police and provincial and municipal officials held a news conference Sunday morning, where Quebec City police said the suspect’s actions show that he likely premeditated the attack, but that the victims were chosen at random. They said Girouard does not have a criminal record, but the suspect did reveal five years ago in a “medical context” that he wanted to commit a violent act.

Vaillancourt said that past history is a better indicator of the likelihood someone would commit a violent act, rather than mental health issues. 

Mental health support crucial, officials say

Describing mental illness as the “biggest safety concern” in major Canadian cities for decades to come, Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume said during Sunday’s news conference that it is becoming increasingly difficult for authorities to manage.

Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault echoed Labeaume’s call for public discussion about mental health Sunday, calling it “a major issue that has perhaps been too long and too often forgotten.”

Manon Massé, co-spokesperson for Québec Solidaire, said COVID-19 public health restrictions “are causing even more distress” than usual. 

Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said the question of mental health is “at the heart of what we do.”

Monday evening, Labeaume held a news conference saying he welcomed the $ 100-million investment from the provincial government, but was calling for a debate about how mental health services are administered in the province.

“People want to know what innovations there are in how we intervene in mental health; what other places are doing; whether we’re doing things the right way, and can we re-discuss existing laws? People want to understand why mental health feels like a bigger problem than it was 10 or 20 years ago,” Labeaume said. 


Describing it as the “biggest safety concern in major Canadian cities for decades to come,” Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume said mental illness is becoming increasingly difficult for authorities to manage. (Sylvain Roy Roussel/Radio-Canada)

Quebec City’s regional health authority is sending an intervention team to provide psychosocial support to citizens of Old Quebec on Monday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the corner of Hébert and Remparts streets, near where the attacks occurred.

The Info-Social 811 line is also available to answer calls for people who need support. 

Labeaume will offer a message of reassurance and comfort to students at the Collège François-de-Laval and the École des Ursulines in Old Quebec, which are also near the scene of Saturday’s attack. Psychological support staff will also be sent to the schools.

Memories of Quebec City mosque shooting

Labeaume said the sword attack reminded him of the mosque shooting that took place at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre just under four years ago in his city. 

Mohamed Labidi, founder and president of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, said he was also reminded of the 2017 attack. 

“These were gratuitous attacks which should never have taken place,” Labidi said, offering his condolences to the families of the victims.  

He said addressing mental health issues is extremely important. 

“The more we address these issues, the more we will have a peaceful society.”

WATCH | Attack evokes memories of 2017 mosque attack:

Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault and Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume say the overnight stabbing in Quebec City reminded them of the 2017 mosque shooting, which killed six people. 1:53

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De Grasse looks for edge against Coleman in much-anticipated 100m showdown

Watching Christian Coleman burst out of the blocks at London Stadium and hold a two-metre lead over world-record holder Usain Bolt in the first half of the men’s 100 at the 2017 world track and field championships was an eye-opener for Andre De Grasse.

The Markham, Ont., sprinter and 2016 Olympic triple medallist had been ruled out of the race a few days earlier after straining his right hamstring during a training run.

“I don’t want to give up two or three metres in the first 30 or 40 metres,” De Grasse says of the world championships in Doha, Qatar, where he and Coleman are slated to go head-to-head in the 100 for the first time since the 2015 NCAA semifinals on Saturday. “I want to be in the mix [early on], keep my form and finish strong.”

De Grasse is brimming with confidence following a 9.97-second season-best performance at the Berlin World Challenge on Sept. 1.

“All year my starts have been shaky and I haven’t been able to get out with the field,” says the 24-year-old, “but I was able to get out of the blocks [well in Berlin] and maintain my speed.

“I’ve been working on that phase and that race was an indication that it’s coming along. I just have to be patient and when I hear the [starter’s] gun just react and push … and I’ll be in the mix.”

WATCH | Andre De Grasse sets 9.97-second season-best:

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse clocks a season-best time of 9.97 seconds to finish 1st. 1:02

Former world-record holder Donovan Bailey believes De Grasse has the potential to reach the podium “and even win” in Doha. He remembers using the Diamond League circuit to see how he compared to Frankie Fredericks and Ato Boldon, who were superior out of the blocks in the 100.

Coleman case dropped on technicality

“Andre has tremendous top speed and can do the same with Coleman,” Bailey says. “You have to take advantage of athletes that are better than you at some parts of the race where you might need work.”

De Grasse says he will use the heat and semifinal rounds in Doha “to see where I’m at.” The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday and will be live streamed on CBCSports.ca at 11:45 a.m. ET and the final at 3:15 p.m.

WATCH | The story of De Grasse and Coleman:

Despite following similar paths in their careers, Canada’s Andre De Grasse and American Christian Coleman have yet to race each other professionally in the 100 metres.. CBC Sports’ Anson Henry sets up the much-anticipated 100-metre showdown at the upcoming track and field worlds. 1:38
He’ll face a well-rested Coleman, who hasn’t run the 100 since winning in 9.99 in late July at the U.S. championships. A month later, he was charged with a potential anti-doping rule violation for failing to properly file his whereabouts information, but the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency eventually dropped his case for missed doping tests because of a technicality.

Bailey says Coleman’s return to the track will test him psychologically and wonders if the recent events have opened the window of opportunity for the rest of the field.

De Grasse and Coleman were supposed to race the 100 at the Muller Grand Prix Diamond League event on Aug. 18 in Birmingham, U.K. but the American withdrew “as a result of complications occurring after practice this week.”

The whole field is going to be great and I think any of us can win. I can’t just focus on Christian.— Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse on the men’s 100 metres at world championships

A scheduled matchup between the two in May 2018 in Shanghai was cancelled when Coleman, the world-record holder in the indoor 60 metres, withdrew from the event due to a hamstring injury. Another showdown was scuttled two months later after De Grasse’s season was cut short by a second hamstring injury.

“The whole field is going to be great and I think any of us can win,” says De Grasse of this weekend’s race. “I can’t just focus on Christian but [rather] myself and make sure I’m executing the race.”

Two-time reigning Canadian champion Aaron Brown, who clocked 9.96 in the semifinals at the national championships in July, is also in the field that features 2011 world champion Yohan Blake, Akani Simbine, Zharnel Hughes, Adam Gemili and 2019 NCAA gold medallist Divine Oduduru as medal contenders.

In that 2015 race, De Grasse won the 100 and 200 in Eugene, Ore., while representing the University of Southern California and Coleman — then a University of Tennessee freshman — failed to qualify for the 100 final.

But the 23-year-old Atlanta native has since made huge strides, capturing the 100 and 200 at 2017 NCAAs, winning a world silver medal later that year and posting a 2019 world-leading time of 9.81 seconds at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic on June 30.

WATCH | Christian Coleman improves his own world-leading time:

Christian Coleman ran a 9.81 in the men’s 100-metre race at the IAAF Diamond League event at Stanford University. 4:21
Still, De Grasse has Coleman’s number to this point, also passing him in the final 10 metres of the 200 on a wet track to clock a season-best 19.91 two months ago at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Coleman was second in 19.97.

On May 18 in Shanghai, Coleman lost in a photo finish in the 100 to fellow American Noah Lyles, who wasn’t a threat until 70 metres. Both men ran 9.86, with Lyles getting the nod by 6-1000ths of a second.

“Christian has such velocity coming out of the blocks but tends to stay in it after he reaches his speed threshold,” says Bailey. “It’s as though he’s still trying to drive at 80 metres instead of relaxing when the speed generated through 60 metres should be able to carry you.

“I like Andre’s race because he tends to relax the longer the race. Christian has to relax at 70 metres, breathe and decelerate a lot less than he has been.”

Said De Grasse: “To run 9.97 going into the world championship, I feel I’m getting my confidence back and have a good chance to get back on the podium.”

WATCH | Canadian moments from previous track & field worlds:

From Donovan Bailey, to Perdita Felicien, to Andre De Grasse, Canada has had flashes of glory at the track and field world championships. 3:03

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Andre De Grasse misses podium in Birmingham, placing 5th in 100m

Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., finished fifth in Sunday’s 100 metres, stopping the clock in 10.13 seconds — his highest time of the season — at the Müller Grand Prix Diamond League track and field meet in Birmingham, U.K.

It marked just the second time of six races in the event during the sprinter’s strong comeback season from injury that he failed to place in the top three. De Grasse ran 10.14 earlier in the day in one of two semifinal heats at Alexander Stadium after running 10.03 on July 26 to place second to Aaron Brown at the Canadian championships.

“I came out of the [starting] blocks and wasn’t really feeling it [in my legs] and couldn’t get myself back into the race,” said a disappointed De Grasse.

WATCH | Andre De Grasse on what might have led to his disappointing race:

Andre De Grasse discusses his 5th place finish in the men’s 100m race in Birmingham. 0:48

Yohan Blake of Jamaica and De Grasse’s training partner, Adam Gemili of Great Britain, crossed the finish line together on Sunday, with Blake eventually declared the winner by 8-1,000ths of a second in a photo finish. Michael Rodgers of the United States was third in 10.09.

De Grasse, who ran a season-best 9.98 in the semifinals at nationals, clocked 10.11 at the Taiwan Open Athletics Championships on May 25 and had witnessed a steady drop in time since then entering this weekend.

WATCH | Yohan Blake beats Adam Gemili in photo finish:

Jamaica’s Yohan Blake finished first in the men’s 100m event in Birmingham with a time of 10.07, while Andre De Grasse came in fifth with 10.13. 3:23

He continues to work at getting faster out of the starting blocks while being more efficient in getting to the 30-metre mark as the 2016 Olympic triple medallist has demonstrated a solid final 50 metres this season.

De Grasse/Coleman showdown nixed

“Andre isn’t very tall [at five-foot-eight] but he has great velocity,” CBC Sports track analyst Donovan Bailey said entering the Müller Grand Prix, “so he has to get himself in good position coming out of the blocks.”

Sunday’s race was supposed to be a showdown against Christian Coleman, who boasts a 2019 world-leading time of 9.81, but the American was forced to withdraw on Friday “as a result of complications occurring after practice this week.”

Each of the previous two scheduled races featuring the one-time NCAA 100 and 200 champions was scuttled because one of the them was nursing a hamstring injury. De Grasse and Coleman haven’t gone head-to-head in the 100 since the 2015 NCAA semifinals in Eugene, Ore.

Blake, 29, was the 2011 world champion and beat fellow countryman and current 100 world-record holder Usain Bolt at the 2012 Jamaican Olympic trials, but has been slowed by a series of leg injuries since 2013.

He’s got massive shoes to fill [with Usain Bolt retired]. Everyone expects him to at least get to the podium [at the world championships].— CBC Sports track analyst Donovan Bailey on Yohan Blake of Jamaica

However, the world No. 9 sprinter before Sunday’s race posted a winning time of 9.96 at the Jamaican championships on June 21 and went 9.97 to finish third at the Müller Anniversary Games in London on July 20.

With Bolt retired, Blake is Jamaica’s “hope for greatness” leading up to the world championships in September and 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, according to Bailey.


Jamaica’s Yohan Blake wins the 100-metre final ahead of Great Britain’s Adam Gemili by 8-1,000ths of a second at the Muller Grand Prix Diamond League track and field event on Sunday at Alexander Stadium. American Christopher Belcher was fourth. (Martin Rickett/PA via Associated Press)

“He’s got massive shoes to fill,” Bailey said. “Everyone expects him to at least get to the podium [at worlds in Doha, Qatar].

“I read an article where he said he’s going to bring it in Doha, so he’s putting himself verbally in the conversation, but he’s never put himself physically in the conversation.”

Blake was fourth at the 2017 world championships in London, his 9.99 effort trailing winner Justin Gatlin (9.92), Coleman (9.94) and Bolt (9.95). He was also fourth in the 2016 Olympic final behind Bolt, Gatlin and De Grasse.

Newman rebounds in pole vault

Elsewhere on Sunday, Canadian pole vaulter Alysha Newman carried the momentum from her bronze medal performance at the recent Pan Am Games to a second-place finish behind Katerina Stefanidi of Greece.

The 25-year-old breezed through her first three heights of the day, clearing 4.40 metres, 4.55 and 4.65 on her first attempt before missed all three tries at 4.75. 

Newman, who broke her own Canadian record with a 4.77 clearance in Germany on July 17, went 4.65, 4.56 and 4.55 in three subsequent events ahead of Pan Ams.

Stefanidi entered Sunday’s competition at 4.55 and cleared that height and 4.65 on her first attempt before achieving 4.75 on her third and final try.

American Jenn Suhr, 37, was third. She also cleared 4.65 but had five overall misses to Newman’s two.

DeBues-Stafford 2nd in women’s mile

Toronto native Gabriela DeBues-Stafford placed second of 13 finishers in the women’s Millicent Fawcett Mile in honour of the political leader who was instrumental in securing the right to vote for British women in 1918.

The 23-year-old’s time of four minutes 22.47 seconds was nearly five seconds off her personal- and season-best time of 4:17.87, set July 12 at a Diamond League meet in Monaco.

WATCH | Gabriela DeBues-Stafford excited about her prospects at worlds:

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford discusses her second place finish in the women’s 1 mile event in Birmingham. 0:32

DeBues-Stafford, who now lives in Scotland with her husband Rowan, set a Canadian record of 4:00.26 in the 1,500 at the Müller Anniversary Games in London on July 20 for her third national mark in a 52-day span.

In January, DeBues-Stafford shattered Canadian indoor records in the 5,000 (14:57.45) and mile (4:24.80).

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De Grasse loses top 100m competitor as Coleman pulls out of Birmingham event

The much-awaited 100-metre showdown between Canadian Andre De Grasse and American Christian Coleman is once again on hold.

Coleman pulled out of the Diamond League event in Birmingham, England, scheduled for Sunday “as a result of complications occurring after practice this week.”

In June, Coleman posted a 2019 world-leading time of 9.81 seconds in the 100. He was set to face De Grasse, the reigning Olympic bronze medallist in that distance, for the first time since the 2015 NCAA championships.

“I must limit my competition schedule going forward,” said Coleman. “Being totally prepared to compete in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay at world championships has to be my primary goal.”

De Grasse’s primary competition will now come from Jamaica’s Yohan Blake and American Mike Rodgers. 

But the matchup with Coleman was easily the most riveting, as Coleman’s start times versus De Grasse’s finishing speed seemed to line up a fascinating race in England. 

Watch Diamond League live on CBCSports.ca on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

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De Grasse looks for edge vs. Coleman in much-anticipated 100m showdown

Burst out of the starting blocks and stay tall in the middle of the race.

That’s the advice of 1996 Canadian Olympic 100-metre champion Donovan Bailey to Andre De Grasse, who will attempt to beat this year’s top man in the event, Christian Coleman, at the Müller Grand Prix Diamond League track and field event on Sunday in Birmingham, U.K. (CBCSports.ca, 9 a.m. ET).

It will mark the first head-to-head meeting between the two in the 100 since the 2015 NCAA championships when De Grasse won the 100 and 200 in Eugene, Ore., and Coleman – then a then a University of Tennessee freshman – failed to qualify for the 100 final.

But the 23-year-old Atlanta native has since made huge strides, capturing 100 and 200 gold at the 2017 NCAAs, winning a world silver medal later that year and posting a 2019 world-leading time of 9.81 at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic on June 30.

Still, De Grasse has Coleman’s number, also passing him in the final 10 metres of the 200 on a wet track to clock a season-best 19.91 two months ago at the 58th Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Coleman was second in 19.97.

Coleman vulnerable in closing metres?

“There might be a slight advantage mentally for Andre [entering Sunday’s race],” says Bailey, now a CBC Sports track analyst, “but Coleman has established himself as the No. 1 sprinter in the world, and Andre has worked himself back in the conversation.”

De Grasse, 24, has done so by returning from a pair of strained right hamstring injuries each of the past two years to reach the podium in nine of his 10 combined 100 and 200 races this season. On July 26, his 9.98 effort in the 100 semifinal at the Canadian championships in Montreal was a season best. De Grasse followed with a 10.03 in the final later in the day, placing second to Toronto’s Aaron Brown in a photo finish.

De Grasse closed hard, something he has done often in 2019 and that could pose problems for the rest of the field in Birmingham. Coleman, while extremely fast out of the blocks, has appeared vulnerable at times this season in the final metres.

In May, he gained an early edge on Noah Lyles in the 100 at a Diamond League meet in Shanghai, only to be caught late by his American teammate with a larger stride who prevailed in a photo finish after both men crossed the line in 9.86.

“We’ll see what kind of top speed Andre has,” says Bailey, noting De Grasse’s ability to stay relaxed at 50 metres gives him the better chance to have a more complete race. “I think there are still some technical [issues] Coleman is having and Andre can certainly use this week in Birmingham to expose that. If Andre runs technically sound, it should be a very close race, or Andre should win.

Seeking faster start

“Christian has such velocity coming out of the blocks but tends to stay in it after he reaches his speed threshold. It’s as though he’s still trying to drive at 80 metres instead of relaxing when the speed generated through 60 metres should be able to carry you.”

De Grasse, on the other hand, continues to work at getting to the 30-metre mark quicker and more efficiently. American Rana Reider, his new coach, told CBC Sports a month ago that the sprinter’s start this season isn’t what it was in 2016 when De Grasse ran healthy and was a triple Olympic medallist in Rio.

“When you have an injury, especially to the hamstring, it becomes a mental issue,” Bailey says. “You have to trust and believe that when you come out of the blocks that you can put [a lot of] torque on the hamstring, your hips, quads, wherever. Andre just has to get comfortable with loading out of the blocks again.”

Sunday’s two semifinal heats at Alexander Stadium, scheduled for 8:46 a.m. and 8:55 a.m., feature six of the world’s top 10 runners in the 100 this season, including No. 4 Akani Simbine of South Africa, American Michael Rodgers (No. 5), eighth-ranked Bingtian Su of China and Jamaica’s Yohan Blake at No. 9. The final is slated for 10:32 a.m.

The 25-year-old Simbine, who has gradually lowered his time from 10.13 since early July and boasts a season-best 9.93, is second to Coleman in the Diamond League standings.

Other Canadians competing in Birmingham:

Melissa Bishop, women’s 800m (9:23 a.m.): Fresh off a victory in Memphis, Tenn., where the 2019 Canadian silver medallist finished 40-100ths of a second off her season-best of 2:01.10, Bishop will attempt to get back to full strength after a recent minor hamstring injury. The 31-year-old native of Eganville, Ont., is close to achieving the 2:00.60 qualifying standard for the world championships in September.

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, Millicent Fawcett Mile (10:41 a.m.): The Toronto native will compete in the annual one-mile race for women named in honour of the political leader who was instrumental in securing the right to vote for British women in 1918.

DeBues-Stafford, 23, won the Canadian 1,500 metres for a fourth straight year on July 28, two weeks after setting a personal-best in the mile (4:17.87) at Monaco. On July 20, DeBues-Stafford set a national record of 4:00.26 in the 1,500 in London, her third Canadian mark in a 52-day span. DeBues-Stafford, who now lives in Scotland, was 11th of 13 finishers in 4:07.51 last year in Birmingham.

Christian Coleman ran a 9.81 in the men’s 100-metre race at the IAAF Diamond League event at Stanford University. 4:21

Genevieve Lalonde, women’s 3,000 steeplechase (9:55 a.m.): The Moncton native continued a solid season last weekend in Lima, where the 27-year-old clocked a Pan Am-record time of nine minutes 41.45 seconds to win for the third time in four races in 2019. Two weeks earlier, Lalonde won her third consecutive Canadian title in 9:34.85. Earlier this year, the 2018 Canadian cross-country champion placed 20th at the world event in Denmark. Her season- and personal-best is 9.29.82.

Alysha Newman, women’s pole vault (8:07 a.m. ET): She broke her own Canadian record for the second time in the last two months with a 4.77-metre clearance at the Stabhochsprung Jockgrim meet in Germany but dipped to 4.65, 4.56 and 4.55 in three subsequent meets. Newman’s latest effort was good enough for a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games in Lima. Two years ago in Birmingham, she cleared 4.51 to finish eighth.

Diamond League on CBC Sports

CBC Sports is providing live streaming coverage of all 14 Diamond League meets this season at CBCSports.ca and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. TV coverage will be featured as part of the network’s Road To The Olympic Games weekend broadcasts throughout the season.

The following is a list of upcoming Diamond League meets, all times ET:

  • London, England (Saturday/Sunday, 9–11 a.m.)
  • Birmingham, England (Aug. 18, 9–11 a.m.)
  • Paris (Aug. 24, 2–4 p.m.)
  • Zurich (Aug. 29, 2–4 p.m.)
  • Brussels (Sept. 7, 2–4 p.m.)

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Brown wins 2nd Canadian 100m title with photo finish win over De Grasse

Aaron Brown wanted to beat Andre De Grasse at his best.

And in a thrilling 100-metre final, that took officials peering at a photo finish a full five minutes to decide, he did.

Brown captured his second consecutive 100 title at the Canadian track and field championships on Friday, running 10.021 seconds to edge De Grasse by three-hundredths of a second.

Crystal Emmanuel won the women’s event in 11.17 seconds.

WATCH | Aaron Brown defends national 100m title:

Aaron Brown edged Andre De Grasse in a photo finish to capture his second consecutive 100-metre title at the Canadian track and field championships. 0:21

Brown beat De Grasse last year as well, a day before De Grasse suffered a second hamstring injury that ended his season.

“I knew from last year when I won, when [De Grasse] came back to form, I knew if I didn’t win this year that [win] would get nullified. So to speak within the media because they would say ‘Oh he was hurt. Your win last year was only because he was hurt,”‘ Brown said.

Brown was quicker out of the blocks, but De Grasse, a triple Olympic medallist, closed hard over the final 20 metres, bringing a Claude Robillard Stadium crowd — it included Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi and retired MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre — to its feet.

Then the wait was on to determine the winner. The runners didn’t take their eyes off the scoreboard until Brown’s name flashed at the top. The 27-year-old from Toronto erupted in screams, running down the track pumping his fists.

“Never [waited that long],” Brown laughed. “Oh my god. That was crazy. I guess that just comes with it, a heavy dose of drama at the end of a 100 metres.”

WATCH | Crystal Emmanuel captures another 100m title:

The 27-year-old continued her reign at the national track and field championships, taking home her 12th 100m title with a time of 11.17 seconds. 0:29

The close finish was the punctuation mark on a thrilling night of racing. Both sprinters dipped under the 10-second barrier in the 100 semifinals, setting up the sizzling final.

De Grasse, wearing custom-made white Pumas with blue Sonic the Hedgehog on the toes, cruised to a time of 9.98 to win a heat that was plagued by three false starts.

Brown, with a Nike swoosh shaved in his hair, then did him one better, tying his personal best of 9.96 two heats later.

“I saw in the first heat he ran .98 and I knew I had to respond,” Brown said. “I could see it, the narrative shifting, ‘Oh he’s back, Andre this and that,’ and I would get lost in the fold. So I said ‘No, not this year.’ I said ‘I’ve got to drop [a sub 10-second time] too.’ If that’s what he’s setting the bar at, I have to respond.”

They couldn’t replicate the fast times two hours later. Temperatures had dropped, and the wind — both sprinters benefited from tailwind in the semis — had died.

Brown and De Grasse are friends off the track. But they’ve built a fierce rivalry on it. And Friday’s race perhaps provided a preview of Canada’s 1-2 punch at the world championships in October in Doha.

“I want to prove I’m a contender on the world stage, I know he is, he’s already proved it with his medals. I know I’m capable of it, so that’s my next aim,” Brown said.

De Grasse, a 24-year-old from Markham, Ont., was hoping to regain his Canadian title after two hamstring injuries shelved the better part of the past two seasons. De Grasse owned the Canadian 100 title between 2015 and ’17.

De Grasse ‘just happy to be back’

Disappointed by Friday’s result?

“I’m not at all, I’m just happy to be back,” said De Grasse, whose time in the semis was his fastest since Rio. “Fighting injuries for the past two years, I’m just happy to be back here on the track, getting back to where I was running before, getting close to my personal best, I feel like I’m in good shape, I feel like I’m ready for the rest of the season.”

De Grasse had never waited so long for a result either.

“That was crazy to wait that long,” he said. “It’s weird, you wait that long and you don’t even know really know who won. How do you wait that long to come out with a result? But it’s OK, I’ll take my lessons and get better.”

Brown will look to repeat as the Canadian 200 champion, while De Grasse is only racing the 100 in Montreal.

Earlier in the night, Cristabel Nettey won the women’s long jump with a mark of 6.41 metres, while Brittany Crew won the women’s shot put with a throw of 18.65 metres.

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Champion again: Kylie Masse repeats as 100m gold medallist at swimming worlds

Canada’s Kylie Masse made it back-to-back world titles in the women’s 100-metre backstroke, clocking 58.60 seconds at the world aquatics championships in Gwangju, South Korea, on Tuesday.

Australia’s Minna Atherton held the lead midway through the race but Masse came on strong in the final 50 metres for the victory at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center to join the late Victor Davis as the only Canadian swimmers to capture two gold at worlds.

Atherton placed second in 58.85 while Olivia Smoliga of the United States was third in 58.91.

“It is so hard to do that,” CBC Sports swim analyst Byron MacDonald said of repeating as world champion. “I believe only two other swimmers on the planet are going to be able to claim that after these worlds are over. Truly a great performance.”

She was only marginally off her best time today … and will be a medal threat many times over in her career.— CBC Sports swim analyst Byron MacDonald on Canada’s Taylor Ruck

Does this make Masse the odds-on favourite to win gold at next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo?

“No,” said MacDonald. “Will she be one of the favourites? Absolutely, yes. The field is so close … tenths of seconds that anything can happen in an Olympic year. Remember, [Canada’s] Penny [Oleksiak] did not even make worlds [in 2015 before winning four gold at the 2016 Olympics] so people can come from nowhere.”

Taylor Ruck of Kelowna, B.C., appeared to be in medal contention but faded over the final 25 metres, finishing fourth in 58.96. Ruck, who set a personal-best time of 58.55 on April 3 at the Canadian trials, had withdrawn from the 200 freestyle hours earlier to concentrate on other events in Gwanju.

“Taylor was struggling a bit earlier this summer and is just starting to get back to top form,” says MacDonald, who coaches at the University of Toronto. “She was only marginally off her best time today. She is a fantastic athlete and will be a medal threat many times over in her career.”

American Kathleen Baker, who ended Masse’s world-record reign at 368 days last year, was sixth in 59.56. The 22-year-old from Winston-Salem, N.C., arrived in South Korea having not competed since March due to a rib injury, and recently pulled out of the 200 individual medley at worlds to focus on the backstroke.

Masse, 23, entered Tuesday’s race determined to take back the world record Baker snatched from the native of LaSalle, Ont., after clocking 58-flat at the U.S. swimming championships last July. A shocked Masse won gold two years ago at worlds with a then-world record time of 58.10.

Commonwealth gold

Masse was in Japan preparing for the Pan Pacific Championships last August when Baker broke her record. 

The U of T swimmer went on to capture gold in 58.61 with Baker clocking 58.83 for bronze. Earlier that summer, Masse stood atop the podium at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and came closest to taking back the world mark earlier this year with a 58.16 clocking at Canadian trials.

Masse’s performance gave Canada its second gold of these worlds after Maggie MacNeil of London, Ont., surprised many with her victory in Monday’s 100 butterfly.

Ruck, 19, is making her debut at worlds after recently completing her first year at Stanford University in California.

Her rise began at the 2016 Olympics in Rio when she helped Canada’s freestyle relay team to a pair of bronze medals.

Two years later at the Commonwealth Games, Ruck’s record eight-medal haul included gold in the 200 freestyle where she set a meet record, and silver in the 50 freestyle where she set a national record. Later in the summer, Ruck became the first Canadian to win five individual medals at a single Pan Pacific Championships.

Oleksiak advances to 200m freestyle final

Penny Oleksiak of Toronto qualified seventh for Wednesday’s women’s 200 freestyle final with a time of one minute 56.41 seconds.

The 19-year-old helped Canada to a bronze medal in the women’s 4×100 relay along with Kayla Sanchez, Maggie MacNeil and Taylor Ruck to open these world championships on Sunday.

Nearly three years on, Oleksiak still has trouble comprehending the gravity of her 2016 Olympic accomplishments when she won gold in the 100 freestyle, silver in 100 butterfly and relay bronze in the women’s 4×100 and 4×200.

“I think it’s just I don’t want to disappoint Canada, which sounds weird and sounds really cheesy,” she told CBC Sports recently. “But going into the next Olympics, I don’t want people to be disappointed in me if I don’t do as well as they think I’m going to do.”

Sun Yang again shunned at podium

Sun Yang was in the middle of controversy at the world swimming championships again. Only this time, it wasn’t his doing.

Sun won the 200-meter freestyle on Tuesday after Danas Rapsys of Lithuania finished first and got disqualified for an apparent false start.

The Chinese star touched second, but got elevated after Rapsys had already celebrated in the pool.

Sun appeared surprised, clasping his hands to his face, but quickly sat on the lane rope and raised both arms in the air as a mix of cheers and boos rang out.

Once again, Sun got shunned by a competitor on the medals podium. Scott kept his hands behind his back and refused to shake Sun’s hand, standing off on his own while the other medallists joined Sun to pose for photographers.


Sun, who served a three-month doping ban in 2014, is being allowed by FINA to compete in Gwangju ahead of a Court for Arbitration in Sport hearing in September that threatens Sun’s career.

Sun has been accused of smashing vials of his blood with a hammer during a clash last year with testers, and faces a lifetime ban if found guilty.

After Sun won the 400 free, silver medallist Mack Horton of Australia refused to step on the podium or acknowledge Sun during the medals ceremony. FINA, swimming’s governing body, sent warning letters to Swimming Australia and Horton for his actions.

WATCH | Mack Horton refuses to share the podium with Sun Yang:

Australian Mack Horton refused to stand next to Chinese swimmer Sun Yang on the men’s 400-metre freestyle podium. Sun is currently facing allegations of doping rule violations that could result in a ban from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 0:59

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Canada’s Maggie MacNeil wins world 100m butterfly title after upsetting 3-time defending champion

Maggie MacNeil of London, Ont., knocked off three-time world champion and defending Olympic gold medallist Sarah Sjostrom to win the women’s 100-metre butterfly, posting a Canadian-record time of 55.83 seconds at the world aquatics championships on Monday.

Sjostrom was nearly one second ahead of MacNeil early on but the Canadian took charge and caught the reigning Olympic champion, handing the Swede her first loss in the event since 2013 and capturing Canada’s first gold medal at these worlds.


The 19-year-old MacNeil, making her worlds debut on the senior national team, turned in the eighth-fastest performance of all-time and is the second-fastest woman in history. She is also just the second female Canadian swimmer to ever win a world title, joining Kylie Masse, who won the 100 backstroke two years ago at worlds.

Sjostrom, who is tops in the world across the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, crossed the line in 56.22. She has slipped a little in butterfly of late and that allowed MacNeil to take her throne.

Emma McKeon of Australia, who finished second to Sjostrom in the100 butterfly in the 2017 world final, was third on Monday in 56.61.

MacNeil, who recently completed her freshman year at the University of Michigan, was part of the Canadian women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team that won a bronze medal on Sunday at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center.

WATCH | Maggie MacNeil helps Canada to relay bronze on Sunday:

Kayla Sanchez, Maggie MacNeil, Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck posted a time of three minutes 31.78 seconds to lead Canada’s 4×100 relay team its first medal at the event since 1978. 6:18
She qualified second for Monday’s 100 butterfly final in a personal-best time of 56.52, only 6-100ths of a second off Penny Oleksiak’s Canadian mark from her silver-medal winning performance at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Sjostrom qualified first in 56.29.

MacNeil’s victory on Monday upped Canada’s medal total to five in Gwangju, with two silver and two bronze at the two-week event that features swimming, artistic swimming, diving and water polo.

Pickrem collects bronze in 200m medley

Canada’s Syndey Pickrem challenged for the lead over the last 50 metres of the women’s 200 individual medley final on Monday but came up short, placing third in two minutes 8.70 seconds.

Katinka Hosszu, the unbeatable Hungarian, prevailed in a 2019 world-leading time of 2:07.53 for her fourth consecutive gold medal in the 200 IM at worlds. The 2016 Olympic gold medallist is also the three-time defending world champion in the 400 IM. Ye Shiwen of China rounded out the podium on Monday in 2:08.60.

Japan’s Yui Ohashi, who was considered a medal contender on Monday, was disqualified from the race.

The 22-year-old Pickrem, a dual Canadian/American citizen, shone at the recent FINA Champions Swim Series in Indianapolis, finishing second in the 200 medley. Her 2:08.61 put her just behind Hosszu (2:08.50) and ahead of Melanie Margalis (2:10.41) of the United States.

Masse top qualifier for 100 backstroke final

Kylie Masse, the reigning world champion in the 100 backstroke, qualified first for Tuesday’s final in 58.50 seconds. The native of LaSalle, Ont., won world gold in 2017 with a then-world record time of 58.10, breaking a mark that had stood for eight years.

But Masse’s time had a much shorter shelf life as American Kathleen Baker swam 58-flat at the U.S. swimming championships last July.

Taylor Ruck, Masse’s teammate, was third in qualifying Monday in 58.83 while Baker was fourth in 59.03.

Peaty captures men’s breaststroke title

Adam Peaty on Monday became the first man to win a third 100-metre breaststroke title at worlds.

The British swimmer claimed the title in 57.14 seconds, a night after he became the first man to break 57 seconds in the semifinals. Peaty was under his own world-record pace at the turn before coming home a full body-length in front and 1.32 seconds ahead of teammate James Wilby.

In the semifinals, the 2016 Olympic champion was timed in 56.88. Wilby touched in 58.46 and Yan Zibei of China was third in 58.63.

Horton given warning for podium protest

China’s Sun Yang was back in the pool for the 200 freestyle semifinals a night after winning the 400 free. He qualified second-fastest behind Clyde Lewis of Australia. The final is Tuesday night.

Earlier Monday, FINA’s executive board met in Gwangju to discuss Mack Horton’s podium protest against Sun and decided to send a warning letter to Swimming Australia and to Horton.

Australian Mack Horton refused to stand next to Chinese swimmer Sun Yang on the men’s 400-metre freestyle podium. Sun is currently facing allegations of doping rule violations that could result in a ban from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 0:59

“While FINA respects the principle of freedom of speech, it has to be conducted in the right context,” the board said in a statement.

Horton refused to take his spot on the medals stand or shake Sun’s hand after finishing second to the Chinese star in the 400 free. The Aussie swimmer is angry that Sun, who served a three-month doping suspension in 2014, is being allowed to compete in Gwangju before he faces a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in September that could potentially end his career.

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