She did not manage to advance to the final but Jessica Smith ran with distinction and determination in the third semi final of the women’s 800-meters today at the London, Olympics.
Smith placed seventh in her heat with a time of 2:01.90 and was not able to advance to Saturday’s final. The race was won by Marlya Savinova of Russia (1:58.57) with Francine Niyonsaba (BDI) second (1:58.67) and they were the only two runners to advance from that section. Smith had qualified for the semi final by placing second in her qualifying race held on Wednesday.
In a post race interview, Smith expressed how great the experience of competing in the Olympics had been for her and thanked all those who had helped her to become an Olympian. She went on to say that the many things she has taken from the experience would be invaluable for her in future international competitions.
So the Olympics have now come to an end for the two Valley Royals that were part of the Games. A seventh place finish for Mike Mason and a semi final finish for Jessica Smith. Both Mike and Jessica conducted themselves with confidence and maturity at these Games and their performances have to be an inspiration to all Valley Royal members.
We are very pleased to report that long time Valley Royal President and current club director Mike Inman is making a successful recovery from triple bypass surgery Tuesday at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
Mike’s wife, Charlotte, reports…”yesterday was Mike’s first post-op day and it went well!…he was able to sit up in the chair for a short time. He is eating well and grumbling.“
When Mike grumbles you know things are improving. It’s good that he was not able to view the Canada vs. USA soccer match (all three of his daughters, including past University of Washington 1500-meter All-American, were soccer players in their youth).
As an aside, Charlotte completed her nursing training at the Royal Columbian Hospital. Mike and Charlotte met on the 2S ward at RCH and although it is now completely refurbished, that is the same unit that Mike is now a patient.
Will look forward to having you up and about in a few weeks Mike.
London, England—August 7, 2012: Michael Mason placed eighth in the final of the Olympic Games high jump competition but cleared the same height as three other jumpers that tied for the bronze medal.
Mason cleared 2.29 meters in a competition won in the rain by Russia’s Ivan Ukhov who with 2.38m. Second place went to Erik Kynard with 2.33 meters.
Following were six other jumpers, including Mason, all of whom cleared 2.29 meters. But the tie breaking rule that states the number of misses at the last height attempted followed by the total number of misses in the competition, decides the order of finish for any runner-up position. Unfortunately, Mason had two misses at 2.29 meters while the other competitors who cleared the same height did it with just one or two attempts at that height. Canada’s Derek Drouin took 3rd place along with two others with fewer misses than the remaining 3 jumpers.
But it was a great competitive effort by Mason who has truly established himself as one of the world’s elite high jumpers. Mason will now remain in Europe and take part in the Diamond League series of meets that include the Samsung Invitational scheduled for Lausanne, Switzerland on August 23.
Mike Mason and fellow Canadian Derek Drouin both were successful in today’s Olympic Games qualifying round of the high jump in London. England and have advanced along with 12 others for the final that takes place Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight saving time.
Mason cleared 2.26 meters in Group B while Drouin cleared 2.29 meters in Group A. On advancing to the final Mason had the following to say…”It was a bit of a tough day technically. It took me a while to get going and find my mark. Getting my third attempt at 2.26m secured my spot in the final. I’m relieved and looking forward to it.”.
Drouin had the following to say about his qualifying performance, “It was stressful, I’m not one to have a lot of misses like that. I usually like to clear on my first attempt. I wasn’t that nervous coming in here, I’m not sure what was going on. I’m relieved to get through and excited for the final.”.
A few years ago Joel Primus was a BC High School Champion and one of the best young distance runners in Canada. Now, he and his partner Alex MacAuley, another outstanding high school middle distance runner from the past, are entrepreneurs as founders of a company named Naked. They produce high end quality priced underwear for men and the company has gained considerable attention. Joel made two appearances on Dragonâ€™s Den and his company has caught the attention of some financial backers who are willing to take the company public. Naked Boxer already has contracts to sell their line of under garments to Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom with more stores expected to carry the brand in the near future. We will keep you posted on how Joel, Alex and Naked is doing.
Richmond, BC—July 27, 28, 29: Many young Valley Royals members wrapped up the 2012 track season in great style this past weekend at the BC JD Championships in Richmond. The weather was more than cooperative and the sun shone persistently throughout the weekend as our athletes achieved some excellent results
One of the Royal’s most impressive performances came from Vikramajit Gondara who earned himself three gold medals. Gondara dominated the 13-year-old boys throwing events with his winning performance in the hammer throw (33.14) was nearly 10m further than the second place finisher. Vik’s best throw in discus measured 33.43m and in shot put his best was 9.81m. Both performances were narrowly in front of teammate Joel Choboter who placed second in both events.
Parker and Maguire Wakelyn once again found themselves on the podium more than once over the three days of competition. Nine year-old Maguire earned gold medals in the 100m and long jump and bronze medals in high jump, shot put and the 60m dash.
Parker easily won the 11-year old boys long jump with a best mark of 4.45m and placed second in the 60m hurdles. Along with his gold and silver medals, Parker also accumulated a total of 5 third place finishes.
Gabrielle MacGregor demonstrated her versatility this past weekend by finishing in the top 10 in seven different events. Most notable was her 4:07 clocking in the 1200m that earned her the gold medal. In addition, Gabrielle had a 2nd place finish in the 800m and a 6th place finish in shot put. Gabe had a stressful start to the meet as traffic delays in the Masse tunnel almost caused her to miss the 60m hurdle race. But the Kajak meet management upon hearing of the problem delayed the start of the race to accommodate Gabe and in spite of her stressful arrival and next to no warm-up time she still won her heat and placed 5th overall. Gabrielle also had a 2nd place finish in the 800m and a 6th place finish in shot put.
Other noteworthy performances include Joel Choboter’s 2nd place finish in shot put, Jensen Bako with sixth 6th in the 2000m, Jaskarn Rai’s 6th in shot put and Parker Janzen’s 2nd place finish in the 800m racewalk.
In other news, the BC Summer Games were held July 19-22 in Surrey and there were a few Valley Royal athletes in attendance. Spencer Spenst won pole vault, Jeewan Grewal placed third in hammer, and Hanna Konrad came 4th in the 800m. All three athletes did a great job in their events and represented both the Valley Royals and Zone 3 very well.
Fully recovered from the illness that affected her 10-days ago at the Canadian Championships, Jessica Smith took part in the 800-meters Wednesday evening at the Toronto International.
Although she got off to a poor start in the field of 12 runners and found herself in last place at the cut-in point after the first 100 meters, Smith made an excellent recovery. She charged down the final straight and picked off a number of runners and when she crossed the finish line Smith was in second place.
The race was won by fellow Olympian Melissa Bishop of Toronto in 2:01.68 with Smith just an eyelash behind with a clocking of 2:01.83. Third place went to Canadian Champion Lemlen Bereket (2:02.25) who now trains out of the Victoria High Performance Centre.
Smith has one more race when she runs the 1500-meters this Saturday at the BC Athletics Jamboree that takes place at the Towne Centre track in Coquitlam. Following that she will travel to Germany for a training camp where she will be joined by high jumper and fellow Valley Royal Olympian Mike Mason.
The Valley Royals focus on promoting participation in track and field as a sport suited to the individual’s mental, physical, and emotional development. Founded in 1989, the Royals work to foster programs for the development of athletes and offer opportunities for club members to compete at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
New athletes are welcome to join any practice group. For further information contact Jason Swan, Club Manager, at [email protected].