Bronze dreams crushed, yet they remain positive – could you expect anything else from the Canadian team?
Without a doubt, the Canadian Men’s 4x100m relay squad is the third fastest in the world. In the final on Saturday, anchor runner Justyn Warner ran a nearly perfect final leg to advance from fifth to third position and take the bronze. For a moment, the celebration was on with the champion and runner-up Jamaican and US teams.
Media was busy evoking memories of the 1996 achievements of the legendary Canadian sprinting team. The athletes embraced their fiancées, spouses, and family that followed them there. They jumped and rejoiced.
In an instant, it was all gone.
The official judge’s result was posted nearly seven minutes after the end of the race. Canada was at the bottom with the ominous DQ listed right beside. Trinidad and Tobago, whom Warner’s final surge allowed Canada to pass, was listed in the bronze medal position.
Canada’s captain Jared Connaughton immediately and graciously took his time with the reporter from the CTV, and explained how he had known it was a possibility, had a grave feeling, and apologized to his team members and to the fans. He had stepped on the inside line of his lane – a known foul and grounds for immediate disqualification of the team. For an athlete in his position, he was clearly shaken by the gravity of the moment. Nevertheless, no member of his team acted without class on the track.
In the CTV studios, the team sat down with Brian Williams and displayed confidence and poise during their interview. Coach and famed former sprinter Glenroy Gilbert was proud of his team, and each member took time to explain their own feelings. Despite the time nearing midnight in London, the team spoke, and the captain continued to give his deepest apologies and promise that the following years would witness the rebirth of the Canadian sprinting.
Rarely do we see athletes at the most elite level experience such an affecting event, and it can be expected that our sprinters would be shaken by the moment. Their poise and humility, however, is their own. They deserve all of our respect – can you imagine if Canada sits on the podium once more as some of the fastest men in the world?
Expect it. It’s coming.
Image from the Ottawa Sun.