Sprinters’ redemption give Canada its heaviest world medal haul ever

The Canadian men’s 4×100 relay team found sweet redemption on the world stage Sunday with a dramatic bronze medal performance at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

The podium brings Canada’s medal tally to five at these championships, marking a best-ever performance and surpassing its four-medal haul in 1995.

Following a brutally disappointing disqualification because of a lane violation during the squad’s London 2012 Olympic performance (clocking an unofficial time good enough for third place), karma returned the favour Sunday: A world championship podium.

This time it was Great Britain suffering a disqualification – making its second exchange outside the allotted zone and therefore upgrading Canada’s fourth-place finish to a bronze.

Gavin Smellie (Maple, ON), Aaron Brown (Toronto, ON), Justyn Warner (North York, ON) and teammate Dontae Richards-Kwok (Toronto, ON) ran to a time of 37.92. The United States earned silver at 37.66 and Jamaica claimed the gold in 37.36.

OLY COC London 2012

Canada’s 4X100 men’s relay team learns of its disqualification at the London 2012 Games. COC photo: Jason Ransom

At the London Games, Smellie and Warner were joined by Oluseyi Smith and Jared Connaughton. The last time Canada ran faster than 38 seconds was in 1997, when Donovan Bailey anchored a 37.86 race for the gold medal at Athens World Championships.

Also bringing home medals at these championships are: Damian Warner  (decathlon, bronze); Brianne Theisen-Eaton (heptathlon, silver); Derek Drouin (high jump, bronze); and Dylan Armstrong (shot put, bronze).