More bad luck

Canada’s Brown dis­qual­i­fied for lane vi­o­la­tion in 200 me­tres

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY LORI EW­ING

For a cou­ple of min­utes Mon­day night, Aaron Brown be­lieved per­haps Canada’s luck at the world track and field cham­pi­onships was turn­ing.

He’d raced to a vic­tory in his 200-me­tre heat in a sea­son’s best time, three days af­ter he’d been quar­an­tined for the stom­ach virus that has slashed through the team.

Then the re­sults flashed up on the score­board. Be­side his name was the dreaded “DQ.” Brown was dis­qual­i­fied for a lane vi­o­la­tion.

“I hope the tide’s turn­ing,” Brown said, just a minute or two be­fore hear­ing the bad news. “Bran­don McBride made the fi­nal (in the men’s 800), we’ve got some other peo­ple wait­ing in the wings. Go Canada, we’re go­ing to do this.”

Ath­let­ics Canada im­me­di­ately ap­pealed the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, but af­ter video re­view, the ap­peal was re­jected. Run­ners are dis­qual­i­fied for step­ping on the line.

Four days into the world cham­pi­onships, the Canadian team has lost stars An­dre De Grasse and Derek Drouin to in­jury, and Eric Gil­lis dropped out 30 kilo­me­tres into the marathon, three days af­ter he’d been ill with what is be­lieved to be Nor­walk.

The 25-year-old Brown, mean­while, raced to a sea­son’s best 20.08 sec­onds — what would have been the sec­ond fastest time on the night — and, yet to learn of his dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, was all smiles when he went through the me­dia in­ter­view area.

He was happy he’d re­cov­ered from the bug that has flat­tened ath­letes from sev­eral teams stay­ing at the same cen­tral Lon­don ho­tel.

“I was in my room the en­tire day in the dark like I was a vam­pire,” he said. “It hit at night, couldn’t sleep, aching stom­ach. Felt like the movie ‘Alien,’ when they breed the alien and the thing’s run­ning around in­side. It felt like that. I was hold­ing my stom­ach the en­tire night.”

Brown was also dis­qual­i­fied from the 100 me­tres last month in Ot­tawa for a false start.

He and De Grasse are the only two Canadian sprint­ers in his­tory that have recorded both sub-10 sec­ond times in the 100 and sub-20 in the 200.

Brown said he’s drawn in­spi­ra­tion from his Canadian team­mate, who was a medal threat in both the 100 and 200 in Lon­don be­fore tear­ing his ham­string a week ago in train­ing.

“Why not me? That’s been my slo­gan for the cham­pi­onship, ‘Why not me?”’ Brown said. “I know I have the tal­ent and the ca­pa­bil­i­ties.”

He just needed some bet­ter luck.

Sage Wat­son fared bet­ter than Brown on Mon­day night, ad­vanc­ing to the semi­fi­nals in the women’s 400-me­tre hur­dles. Wat­son was sec­ond in her heat in 55.06, the fifth fastest time of the night.

The 23-year-old from Medicine Hat, Alta., who won the NCAA ti­tle for the Ari­zona Wild­cats, said there were some things she needs to clean up for the next round — she re­laxed on the cor­ner too much, and didn’t come off the hur­dles as smooth as she would’ve liked over the fi­nal 100 me­tres.

AP PHOTO/DAVID J. PHILLIP

South Africa’s Clarence Mun­yai, Canada’s Aaron Brown and Bri­tain’s Netha­neel Mitchell-Blake, from left, com­pete in a men’s 200m first round heat dur­ing the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don, Mon­day.

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