The Ottawa Lions are pleased to announce that five club members have been selected to represent Canada this August at the Rio Olympic Games. The contingent, headlined for World Championship silver medalist Melissa Bishop is the largest the club has ever sent to the Games.
While Bishop and 4x100m relay team member Oluwasegun Makinde were members of the London 2012 team, this will be the first Olympic experience for shot putter Tim Nedow, hurdler Sekou Kaba and 4x100m relay member Farah Jacques.
Expectations heading into Rio will be undoubtedly be high Bishop following her medal at last summer’s World Championship. However, in a trimmed down competition schedule so far in 2016, Melissa has shown herself to be a force to be reckoned twice breaking the Canadian record indoors. She has followed that up with multiple sub two minute performances and a new Canadian championship record this past weekend. The next step on Bishop’s road to Rio will be this week’s Edmonton International Track Classic.
Oluwasegun Makinde, a long standing member of the Canadian senior team has again been named to the relay squad. Makinde was an alternate on the relay team in London four years ago that was disaqualified after crossing the finish line in the bronze medal position, but does have a relay bronze from the 2013 World Championships. Segun, as most people call him, is the sixth fastest man in Canada this year over 100m after setting a new personal best of 10.24 last month in Toronto. He’ll be in the relay pool with Andre Degrasse, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, Mobolade Ajomale, and Akeem Haynes.
While this will be Tim Nedow’s first Olympic experience, he is far from a novice on the global stage. The Thousand Island Secondary School Gradudate was a finalist at the recent World Indoor Championships in Portland and has also competed in the past two World Outdoor Championships. With a best throw of 20.88, Nedow currently has the 14th farthest throw in the world this year.
Four years ago hurdler Sekou Kaba was receiving his Canadian citizenship, today he is about to embark on his first Olympic journey. The University of Ottawa graduate was a semi-finalist at last year’s World Championships in Beijing and will be certainly looking to equal and improve on that result in Rio. Slowed by an early season achillies issue, Kaba is rounding into form after setting a seasonal best 13.64 this past weekend at the Canadian Championships.
While her focus had been on running the 200m in Rio, Farah Jacques will be a member of Canada’s 4x100m relay team in six weeks. The Montreal native has posted club records of 11.49 and 23.21 seconds respectively over 100m and 200m so far this season with her 200m mark being a scant 0.01 seconds off the Olympic standard. Jacques had previously been a part of the Canadian relay team at the 2015 World Relay Champs.
The athletics portion of the Olympic Games kicks off August 12 at the Olympic Stadium. The first Lion in action will be Sekou Kaba when he lines up for the 110m hurdle heats at 7:40pm Eastern on Monday, August 15.