Sunday, August 16, 2009

Connaughton ready for double

Connaughton ready for double
Islander to run in the 200-metre and 4x100-metre events
at the world track and field championships in Germany

The Guardian

It’s a sprinting double-dip for Jared Connaughton at the world track and field championships, which begin today in Germany.
The New Haven native races in the men’s 4x100-metre relay and Team Canada coaches last week entered him in the men’s 200-metre.
Heats begin Tuesday at 5:05 a.m. AT in the 200 metres.
It’s a race Connaughton’s only ran three times this season, the second a silver finish at the Canadian championships in late June (20.78) and the third a season-best of 20.68 to win the 200-metre in a tune up meet in Düsseldorf, Germany, last week.
Neither were strong enough for the 20.59 qualifying standard, but he got the thumbs up anyway.
“Because of my world ranking and performances from (the 2008 Olympics in) Beijing last year, and my placing at nationals, the coaches decided to give me the nod to run anyhow. And rightfully so,” Connaughton said. “I believe that I’m the best 200-metre runner in Canada and I hope to represent Canada well in Berlin."
Bryan Barnett won the national 200-metre title in 20.71, but that’s far off Usain Bolt’s world record time of 19.30.
The Jamaican set the new mark at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, last summer.
American Tyson Gay is the defending world 200-metre champ (19.76).
Gay has a season-best 200-metre time of 19.58 while Bolt is a blink behind at 19.59.
Last month, five Jamaicans, all who had qualified for the worlds, tested positive at the Jamaican national trials in June.
Bolt wasn’t one of the five which includes four men and a women.
Meanwhile, heats in the 4x100-metre start Friday at 2:30 p.m. AT.
The final is Saturday is 3:50 p.m. AT.
Canada ran a 39.43 at the Okasa worlds in 2007 after baton passing problems led to a last-place finish.
Still, the team rebounded at the Olympics and finished sixth in the final, Canada’s best finish since a gold in 1996.
At the Düsseldorf meet, Connaughton with teammates Sam Effah, Seyi Smith and Barnett ran a 38.63.
Connaughton, who runs the third leg, said Canada’s good roll might continue.
“Our chance in the 4x100-metre team this season is very high. I think that we have an other three or four-10ths of a second to take off that time,” he said. “So I hate to predict times, but I think we can run 38.0 to 38.2.”
The Jamaicans, with Bolt, set another world record at the Olympics (37.10).
The United States, with Gay, is the defending 4x100-metre champion (37.78). The U.S. holds the event record time of 37.40 set in 1993.
Connaughton returns to P.E.I. after the worlds for week two of the 2009 Canada Summer Games.
He won two gold medals (100 and 200 metres) at the 2005 Games in Regina.
Connaughton’s schedule at the worlds (all times AT):
* Aug. 18 - 200-metre heats, 5:05 a.m.; 200-metre quarter-finals, 1:55 p.m.
* Aug. 19 - 200-metre semifinals, 2:25 p.m.
* Aug. 20 - 200-metre final, 3:35 p.m.
* Aug. 21 - 4x100-metre relay heats, 2:30 p.m.
* Aug. 22 - 4x100-metre relay final, 3:50 p.m.

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