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Canada has day of highs and lows on the


track at Pan Am Games
POSTMEDIA NETWORK | July 26, 2015 1:29 AM ET

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Canada's Gavin Smellie, left to right, Brendon Rodney, Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
celebrate after winning gold in the men's 4x100m relay final at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Saturday, July 25,
2015.
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By Rob Marsiglio, Centennial College


TORONTO It was eerily reminiscent of Londons 2012 Olympic Summer games on Saturday night at the CIBC
Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium where athletes met to compete in a variety of track related events.
More than two hours after Canada won the mens 100-metre relay, the team was disqualified.
Gavin Smellie, running the lead leg of the race, stepped on the line within the inside of a lane, breaking the
International Association of Athletics Federations rule.
Its disappointing but you have to remember that this happens all the time and is part of the game, said head coach
Peter Eriksson. You can see that the guys ran super fast and had a phenomenal performance. That can never be
taken away from them.
I guarantee you with a little training, this group, when they come back and train leading up to the world
championship, it will be a clean race; it will be a faster race.
The team could not be reached for comment after the race, but Eriksson said what happens next is pretty simple.
You have to put it aside and just say, its part of history, lets move on and do better. Thats all we can do.
Eriksson explained that relay coach Glenroy Gilbert only worked with the team for five or six days leading up to the
games. With worlds being a month away, he isnt worried about the team being ready for the IAAF Worlds in Beijing
later this fall.
While the disqualification darkened the mood at the track, it wasnt all bad news for the Canadian medal count.
Derek Drouin came to Toronto as the Commonwealth Games champion in the high jump. The Sarnia Ont., native
entered the Pan Am games as the favourite as well.

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Drouin lived up to the expectations, jumping a season best 2.37 metres to take the gold medal.
My last two meets were season bests, said the 25-year-old after his victory lap. So I was carrying in some
confidence and I knew that being in Toronto and being in front of a crowd like this it was going be a great opportunity
to jump high.
Im glad I didnt let that go to waste.
Standing beside Drouin on the podium was teammate Mike Mason.
Mason, a native of Nanoose Bay, B.C., jumped 2.31 metres, and was the only other man to clear the 2.28 metre
mark. Having won bronze at the Glasgow Games, it certainly wasnt the first time the two stood on a podium
together.
Kind of non-verbally, because I didnt want to jinx it, I was really hoping that Mike and I would be the top two spots
on the podium, said Drouin about his expectations leading up to the meet. To be honest, which spot I was if that
was the case wasnt too important to me because as long as Canada is gold and silver you cant get much better
than that.
While the mens relay team had a disappointing ending to their meet, it was the opposite for the womens team. The
team finished third in a time of 43.00 seconds, less than half a second behind the US who posted a Pan Am record
42.58 seconds.
This was the last day of track for Pan Ams and this was the last day to make a statement, let the Canadian crowd
see what kind of talent we have in Canadian female track, said team anchor Khamica Bingham. It was amazing.
The Canadian ladies finished just shy of the podium at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 as well as at the IAAF
World Relays this May, so the bronze medal was a confirmation that all of their hard work is paying off.
It was really nice to finally get on the podium and it was a great confidence booster for us heading into worlds, said
Bingham, a native of Brampton, Ont. We are super excited.
We just have to tweak some things and we will be ready.
Canada finished the athletics portion of the Games with 11 gold medals and 26 medals total.
This story was produced by students from Centennial College in Toronto in conjunction with Postmedia.

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