Canada will field one of its deepest teams in history at the world track and field championships that begin Saturday in Beijing. Canada is aiming to top its five medals won in 2013 in Moscow. Here are five Canadians to watch:
Shawnacy Barber – The 21-year-old has broken the Canadian pole vault record so many times this season, it might as well be written in pencil. The NCAA indoor and outdoor champion won the Pan Am Games, and then less than a week later, cleared 5.93 metres in London – another Canadian record. He’s ranked No. 3 in the world.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton – The 26-year-old from Humboldt, Sask., is ranked No. 1 in the world in the heptathlon. The world bronze medallist in 2013 won this year’s prestigious Hypo Meeting in Austria, with a Canadian-record 6,808 points, almost 300 points better than anyone else in the world this season.
Damian Warner – The 25-year-old from London, Ont., won the decathlon at the Pan Am Games, scoring 8,659 to break Michael Smith’s 19-year-old Canadian record. The score ranks him No. 2 in the world, although Olympic champion Ashton Eaton – husband to Brianne – has yet to compete in a decathlon this season.
Christabel Nettey – The 24-year-old from Surrey, B.C., has been consistently solid in the long jump all season, proving her Canadian record of 6.99 metres was no fluke. The Pan American Games gold medallist goes into the world championships ranked No. 2.
Derek Drouin – The 25-year-old from Corunna, Ont., is an Olympic and world championship bronze medallist in high jump. He got off to a slow start this season, but cleared 2.37 metres – which ranks him third in the world – to win the Pan Am Games. His Canadian-record height of 2.40 he set last season would put him No. 2.