When Melissa Bishop crossed the finish line Saturday night in Beijing, she did something no other member in club history had ever done – win an individual medal at the IAAF World Championships. Completing two laps of the famed Bird’s Nest Stadium in one minute 58.12 seconds, the Eganville native ended her season on the highest note of her career.
Saturday’s race was the culmination of a season which has just continued to build on itself after getting off to a rough start. First was the sports hernia which hampered winter training, followed by an ankle injury, delaying her season debut until the end of May. However, Melissa was never one to relent in her drive to run fast. As her seasoned opened up, she dusted off the cobwebs, slowly got faster, and if you looked closely, she began to exude a new level of confidence in her step.
Melissa’s silver medal.
That level of confidence showed up in spades when she made her signature run for Pan Am Gold, and was renewed Friday when she shattered the Canadian record in the semi-finals with a time of 1:57.52, a full two seconds under her previous best.
Confidence, along with great preparation, is also what allowed Melissa to surge towards the front of the pack in the final 100m of Saturday’s race, narrowly being edged out for gold by Marina Arzamasova of Belarus, who won the gold in 1:58.03.
When she crossed the line, did even she believe what had happened? Peering at the scoreboard once the results were posted, “I wanted to clarify with the board just to make sure that it was real,” Bishop said. “I’m speechless. I’m just so happy!”
Melissa returned home to Ottawa Monday night to a gathering of friends and family in the airport, culminating a whirlwind couple days for the 27 year old. “It has all been so wild, I don’t even know what day it is,” Bishop told the Ottawa Citizen on Tuesday as she gets ready to enjoy some well deserved down time with her family.
Melissa with family and friends at Ottawa International Airport
“A lot of things happened last week. I’m so tired and I just want to re-live it with my family, and hear their side of things.”
Ottawa Lions Medalists at the IAAF World Championships
2015 – Melissa Bishop – Women’s 800m (SILVER)
1997 – Glenroy Gilbert – Men’s 4x100m Relay (GOLD)
1995 – Glenroy Gilbert – Men’s 4x100m Relay (GOLD)
1993 – Glenroy Gilbert – Men’s 4x100m Relay (BRONZE)