Makinde and Thom add two more medals to Lions tally

Ottawa Lions athletes kept rolling on day three of the Francophone Games in Nice as Oluwasegun Makinde and Curtis Thom each found their way onto the podium today.

Running the second leg of the 4x100m relay team, Makinde helped propel Canada to gold and a 39.14 second clocking. When asked if gold in France meant more to him than world bronze in Moscow he said he’d need a little more time to think about it, but he was certain about one thing. “I just hope I get to hear it a couple more times – on bigger stages,” said the former University of Ottawa sprinter when asked about getting to hear the Canadian anthem. “It’s one of those things that every athlete in the sport dreams of hearing.”

Makinde will have one more opportunity to hear “O Canada” as he prepares for the 200m heats tomorrow. He seems focused on getting back on the podium, sending out the message “1 down. 1 to go,” to his Twitter followers this afternoon.

For wheelchair racer Curtis Thom, he completed his one lap tour of Stade Charles-Ehrmann in 53.22 seconds to claim bronze in the T54 400m. It was Thom’s first individual international medal in the senior ranks. Earlier this year, Curtis was a member of the gold medal winning Canadian 4x400m relay team at the IPC World Championships. 

For decathlete Patrick Arbour, the day did not go as well as his Lions teammates. During his first attempt of the long jump, event two of the decathlon, Arbour popped two ribs out, which left him having trouble breathing and unable to bend forward. However, his never give up attitude persevered and he passed his first two throws of the shot put while team staff froze the area and the chiropractor worked to pop his two rib bones back in to place. He managed a third round effort of 14.11m to continue in the competition.  

After shot put, Arbour says “I couldn’t breathe or move . I got another needle to freeze the area and went head first into high jump. Didn’t move my left arm on any running or jumps and amazed everyone with 1.86. The drugs had kicked in and only landing made it hurt but at that point I figured I would be done the hard part of the jump so I was OK.” That would be his only clearance, leaving him with just a 400m sprint to end day one.

He finished the first day of competition with 3430 points and currently sits in 6th place. Focused on finishing day two, Arbour was looking forward to having 16 hours to ice, get some more treatment and rest, explaining on Twitter, the “only thing worse than quitting is not being able to put 100% into something I love.”