It may just be the biggest night for the Ottawa Lions this year, and the competition is taking place in the morning. At the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China it’s already Wednesday morning and a trio of Lion record holders are getting ready to enter the famed Birds Nest Stadium with an eye on advancing to a global final.
Sultana Frizell, Melissa Bishop, and Sekou Kaba will kick off their World Championships Tuesday night in Ottawa based on the time difference.
Hammer thrower Sultana Frizell will kick things off as she competes in qualifying group B at 10:55 pm eastern where she will be looking to hit the automatic qualifying standard of 72.50m or be among the top 12 to advance to the final in two days time. Entering with a seasonal best of 73.66m from a Hammer Challenge event in Kawasaki, Japan, the two time Commonwealth Games champion is well positioned to make her second global final after finishing 10th at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.
Frizell’s roommate in Beijing, Melissa Bishop will follow shortly after in the women’s 800m preliminaries at 11:05 pm. The Pan Am Games champion will run out of lane seven in the sixth and final heat, which will give her the best idea of knowing what she needs to advance to the semi-finals. For the Eganville native, this will be her second World Championship appearance after failing to advance out of the heats two years ago in Moscow. With a personal best of 1:59.52, Melissa will be well positioned to be one of the three automatic qualifiers.
Hurdler Sekou Kaba rounds out the evening as the heats of the men’s 110m hurdles get started at 11:20 pm. While this will be Kaba’s first World Championship appearance, he is not short on international experience, having captured Francophone gold two years ago in Lyon, France. Entering with a personal best of 13.43 seconds, set at the Canadian Championships, the University of Ottawa grad will run out of lane 2 in the fifth and final heat. If Sekou can find himself among the top half of his heat, he will advance to Thursday’s semi-finals.
Ottawa’s other world championship competitor, Tim Nedow, finished 20th overall in the men’s shot put with a best throw of 19.63m. It was a disappointing result for the Brockville native who entered the competition with a seasons best of 20.78m and was a silver medalist at the Pan Am Games last month.
Reminder to all, you can watch live streaming coverage of the IAAF World Championships on CBC Sports website.