BUDAPEST, Hungary — Canada's Camryn Rogers feels that much more confident ahead of next summer's Olympics now that she's a world champion.
Rogers won the gold medal in the women's hammer throw at the World Athletics Championships on Thursday, becoming the second Canadian woman to win gold at the worlds. Perdita Felicien, who won the 100-metre hurdles in 2003, was the first.
Rogers' first throw of 77.22 metres stood as the winner. No other thrower hit the 77-metre mark.
“I am so excited," Rogers said of what this means for the Paris Games. "I think (it's great) being able to come away from this world championship with this medal but also even more experience and the feeling of knowing we’re on the right track."
Janee' Kassanavoid of the United States (76.36) was second and fellow American DeAnna Price (75.41) was third.
Rogers won silver in her worlds debut in 2022, becoming the first Canadian woman to ever win a world championship medal in a field event.
Canada swept the hammer throw titles in Budapest. Ethan Katzberg won gold in the men's event on Saturday.
Rogers credits the amazing people in the Canadian hammer throw community for the country's success, including the late Richard Collier, his son Garrett Collier and her coach Mo Saatara, among many others.
“We have been blessed to have amazing people who know about hammer and who have worked with some of the best throwers in history and are willing and what to pass that knowledge on to this next generation of throwers,” she said.
“It’s this amazing community that we’ve built and I feel like I’ve been so lucky to have been a part of it and continuing to see it grow even in the last 11 years of my career."
The 24-year-old from Richmond, B.C., owns the fifth-best mark ever in the women's hammer throw at 78.62 metres — and the Canadian record — which came in May.
Rogers, who entered the world championships ranked second in the world in women's hammer throw, also won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and is a three-time NCAA champion and record holder.
In other Canadian results, Andre De Grasse did enough to give himself a shot at another world championship medal.
The Olympic champion from Markham, Ont., finished third in his 200-metre semifinal in 20.10 seconds on Thursday, which was fast enough to book him a spot in the event final. The top two runners of the three semifinals advanced, along with the next two fastest runners.
"It's been a tough season, so I'll take that," said De Grasse. "Now I've just got to go out there tomorrow like it's a new day and just compete."
De Grasse will look to add to his five world championship medals (one gold, one silver, three bronze) in Friday's 200 final. De Grasse has reached the podium at least once in every Olympics and world championships he has competed in.
Aaron Brown of Toronto, a medal hopeful in the event, was disqualified for a lane violation, while Brendon Rodney of Toronto was fourth in his semifinal in 20.27 seconds and did not advance to the final.
Brown would have had the eighth and final qualifying spot had his time stood.
Edmonton's Marco Arop had no trouble qualifying for the men's 800 final. The top-ranked runner in the distance won his semifinal in one minute 44.02 seconds and had the fourth-best time overall.
"I got out and I saw I was with everybody in the first 100, so I just decided to take the leap," he said. "It worked out."
The 800 final takes place Saturday.
Olympic silver medallist Mo Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., qualified for the men's 5,000-metre final after finishing third in his heat, and third overall, in a time of 13:33.16.
"I thought I ran a good race," said Ahmed. "I covered the move that I needed to cover, and put myself in good position and finished pretty well."
Benjamin Flanagan of Kitchener, Ont., finished 11th in his heat at 13:38.69 and did not qualify for Sunday's final.
Earlier, Evan Dunfee finished just shy of a podium finish for the second time at the worlds.
The race walker from Richmond placed fourth in the men's 35-kilometre event Thursday in a season's-best time of two hours 25 minutes 28 seconds.
Dunfee also finished fourth — and set a Canadian record with a time of 1:18:03 — in the 20-kilometre race walk earlier in the competition.
The 32-year-old said his hamstring was hurting after the 20-kilometre race, but he managed to get out for the 35-kilometre event before the pain returned near the end of the race.
"At 32k, (the hamstring) just went 'pop,'" he said. "Somehow it calmed down enough to let me finish, but I couldn't make up that gap, and to finish fourth again is absolutely heartbreaking.
"(The 20k) was a great race and I was disappointed but I was pretty proud of that. This one I wanted to go medal or broke — and I guess I broke."
Spain's Álvaro Martín came first in the 35-kilometre at 2:24:30, followed by Ecuador's Brian Daniel Pintado (2:24:34) and Japan's Masatora Kawano (2:25:12).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2023.
The Canadian Press