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Canada’s Brown bounces back from blocks mishap to clinch spot in world 200 semis

Canada’s Brown bounces back from blocks mishap to clinch spot in world 200 semis

EUGENE, Ore. — Canada’s Django Lovett says he wasn’t at his best technically at the world track and field championships on Monday.

And in an event measured in centimetres, that can be the difference between climbing the podium or not.

The 30-year-old from Surrey, B.C., finished tied for sixth in the men’s high jump, clearing 2.27 metres before bowing out after three misses at 2.30. He tied Cuba’s Luis Enrique Zayas.

“I don’t think I quite performed to my ability or what I wanted,” said Lovett, whose personal best is 2.33, which he jumped at last summer’s Olympic trials. “That’s how it goes sometimes. And we have to live with that and move on.”

Lovett, who is named after the late French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, said he wasn’t accurately hitting one of his marks in his run-up.

“I just didn’t hit my cues and if I don’t hit my cues, I’m not lined up and if I’m not lined up in a thing that demands perfection, you’re not going to perform to your ability.”

Lovett, who had been one of just four jumpers to go clean through the qualifying round, said he didn’t feel any pressure or nerves in his world final debut.

“Coming into the competition, I was pretty confident,” he said. “Technically I let myself down.”

Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar cleared 2.37 to capture his third consecutive world title, screaming at the camera after: “Woo! I AM high jump!”

Barshim — who famously asked if he and Italian Gianmarco Tamberi could share gold at the Tokyo Olympics, rather than continue a jump-off, one of the highlights of the Games — tried one attempt at 2.42, but failed. It would have been a championship record.

Woo Sanghyeok of South Korea won the silver, with a jump of 2.35, while Ukraine’s Andriy Protsenko claimed the bronze (2.33). Tamberi was fourth.

Earlier in the night, Canada’s Aaron Brown overcame a mishap with his starting blocks to clinch a spot in the 200-metre semifinals.

The 30-year-old from Toronto was second in his heat in 20.60 seconds to automatically advance to the semis.

The start of Brown’s heat was called back after his starting blocks slipped, shooting backwards as he fell forward.  

“It felt fine,” said Brown, who finished eighth in the 100 on Saturday. “I ran like maybe 70 per cent (effort), just because after the first time when I slipped out of the blocks, I felt a little bit of a cramp in my quad. 

“Didn’t want to risk it. I just wanted to be conservative, and just do what I had to do to get through.”

Jerome Blake of Burnaby, B.C., was third in his heat in 20.30 to advance to Tuesday’s semis. The final is Thursday.

The 200 field is missing Canada’s Olympic champion Andre De Grasse, who withdrew after saying he’s still not 100 per cent healthy after contracting COVID-19 about a month ago. De Grasse was eliminated in the 100 semifinals on Saturday.

Defending world champion Noah Lyles of the U.S. was the fastest qualifier in 19.98 on his 25th birthday. Lyles playfully wagged a finger at the other runners in his heat ahead of the finish line.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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