The 17th edition of the IAAF World U20 Championships got off to a fantastic start for the Lions on Tuesday with both Maeliss Trapeau and Sharelle Samuel advancing out of their respective heats and on to the semi-finals.
The journey to Tampere, Finland was not the most straightforward for Trapeau, but she showed no ill effects, cruising through the line in third place to automatically advance. Racing in one of the faster heats, Trapeau’s time of two minutes 5.72 seconds ranked her sixth fastest on the day. She will now race in the semi-finals on Wednesday at 10:10am Eastern.
Trapeau, who had originally intended to compete for Canada at these Championships is competing under the red, white and blue of her native France. While Trapeau holds dual citizenship, she was born in France and according to IAAF rule 5.2 :
An athlete who has never competed in an International Competition under Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c), (f) or (g) shall be eligible to represent a Member in an International Competition under Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c), (f) or (g) if he is a Citizen of the Country (or Territory) by virtue of having been born or by virtue of having a parent or grandparent born in the Country (or Territory).
Prior to the Championships, Trapeau had recorded a personal best of two minutes 4.82 seconds at Twilight Meet #3 to rank number one in Canada.
Sharelle Samuel also made quick work of the heats, crossing the line in a personal best 53.62 seconds to advance to the 400m semi-finals. Samuel, who was a double gold medalist at the recent OFSAA Championships appears to be peaking at just the right time. Tuesday’s race was her second lifetime best over the one lap event in a matter of weeks, having run 53.68 seconds at the recent Ontario Senior Championships.
Like Trapeau, Samuel will return to action Wednesday, racing in semi-final number one at 11:25am Eastern. She will be in tough, running blind out of lane eight.