Little did we know that when Melissa Bishop-Nriagu walked off the track in London Stadium after the 2017 World Championship 800m final fans we would have to wait another 643 days before we would get to watch her run again. The Eganville native opened up her 2019 campaign this past Saturday at the John Loaring Classic in Windsor where she toed the line at 1500 metres, as she has been known to do in the past. Bishop-Nriagu was the class of the field, winning in a new Club Record time of four minutes and 9.36 seconds and topping the field by more than 12 seconds. Bishop-Nriagu’s old mark of 4:09.58 was set in 2017.
Speaking with the Windsor Star following the race, the 30 year old runner was pleased with the result, saying “It shows my fitness is coming along and we still have lots of work ahead of us.
“I have confidence now in the work I’ve put in the last 10 months since (daughter) Corinne was born. Now, the goal is to keep working really hard and stay healthy.”
Bishop-Nriagu wasn’t the only Lion in Windsor on Saturday night as two others found themselves on the podium, including fellow Olympian Farah Jacques. The Montreal native was third in the 100 metre hurdles final in a speedy time of 13.25 seconds. However, as was the case at the Liberty Twilight, Jacques was not rewarded with a new personal best as the wind reading was in excess of 2.0 metres per second. Doubling up, Jacques also placed second in the prelims of the 200 metres with a time of 23.98 seconds.
Hurdler Saj Alhaddad also found his way on to the podium with a silver medal performance in the 400 metre hurdles. The defending Canadian silver medalist posted a seasonal best time of 52.88 seconds. Also in the race was teammate Quinn Lyness who set a new personal best of 56.03 seconds in finishing sixth.
In the men’s sprints, Lionel Muteba (10.60) and Oluwasegun Makinde (10.63) placed seventh and eighth respectively in the men’s 100m. Makinde also posted a windy 21.62 second clocking in the 200 metre prelims.
South of the border, Divya Biswal swept the long jump and triple jump at the Redlands Invitational in California. Biswal equaled her long jump best with a 6.30 metre effort while bounding out to 13.31 metres in the triple jump. Unfortunately for the St. Lawrence University graduate, both efforts were aided by a following wind in excess of 2.0 metres per second.