Lions to represent Canada at World Championships

Athletics Canada has announced its 46 member team to compete at the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Athletics, and the Ottawa Lions are proud to congratulate six athletes who are currently or recently been associated with the club who have been named to the team.

Current members representing Canada include 800m runner Melissa Bishop, hammer thrower Sultana Frizell and 4x100m relay runner Oluwasegun Makinde. Among the three, Frizell is the only one with previous world championship experience, having finished 10th at the 2009 championships in Berlin. However, with all having been a member of the Canadian team at last year’s Olympic Games, none are short on experience.

Bishop, who is ranked third all-time in Canada, will minimally be looking to advance to the semi-finals in Moscow; a feat which eluded her last year in London. The Eganville native enters the championships following a string of strong races that include a new personal best 1:59.76 at the final NTL competition in Victoria and most recently a seventh place finish in last weekend’s Diamond League event in London. Melissa’s preliminary run is scheduled for August 15th at 1:55am EST.

For Frizell, she will undoubtedly be looking to return to the world final in Moscow. The Perth native enters the competition with a seasonal best of 71.57m, but has been consistently over 70m for most of the year. Qualifying in the women’s hammer throw will take place August 14th, where the top 12 throwers will advance to the final.

Coming off a 4th place finish in the 200m at the recent World University Games, Oluwasegun Makinde seems poised to crack the lineup for Canada’s 4x100m relay team. Last Saturday in London, Makinde ran the third leg for Canada, helping them to a 38.58 second clocking. For the University of Ottawa student, this will be his second major international team with the relay squad, having served as an alternate last season at the London Olympics.

Among the other athletes named to the team, Alicia Brown, Tim Nedow and Gavin Smellie all have connections to the Ottawa Lions. Brown, who is studying at the University of Toronto, had been a member of the Ottawa Lions up until this season. The national champion over 400m will contest both the open 400m and also run as a member of the Canadian 4x400m relay team in Moscow.

A nine time national medallist as a youth and junior athlete for the Ottawa Lions, Nedow enters his first world championship as the reigning Canadian champion with a lifetime best of 20.74m. He is currently training in Kamloops, B.C. under the guidance of world renowned throws coach, Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk.

Rounding out the trio is Gavin Smellie, who will run lead off for men’s 4x100m team, a role he held both in London and two years ago at the World Championships in Daegu. Smellie, who ran collegiately at the University of Western Kentucky, has been training in Ottawa under the tutelage of national team coach Glenroy Gilbert since 2011.