Silver Lining: IOC approves Olympic medal promotion for Canadian men's relay team at Tokyo Games |  CBC Sports

Silver Lining: IOC approves Olympic medal promotion for Canadian men’s relay team at Tokyo Games | CBC Sports

The Canadian men’s 4x100m relay team from the Tokyo Olympics has officially been promoted to the silver medal after nine months of racing for the bronze.

The IOC rubber stamped the promotion during Thursday’s Executive Board meeting.

Jerome Blake of Burnaby, British Columbia, Aaron Brown and Brendon Rodney of Toronto, and six-time Olympic medalist Andre de Grasse of Markham, Ont. He clocked a time of 37.70 seconds in Tokyo to finish behind Italy and Great Britain. Great Britain’s result was annulled in February after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against top sprinter Chijindu Ujah, for a doping violation.

“The retroactive promotion to a silver on our day off sounds weird,” Brown said in a YouTube video in March. “We didn’t get out there and run faster, and we didn’t do anything different on the track. That’s literally due to disqualification, so this seems a little weird.”

Brown said he was satisfied with his brassiness. He was sympathetic to the other British relay team members.

“These guys have been working abroad too and they deserve that medal as much as we do,” Brown said. “To go from being close to gold (Italy beat the British by 0.01 seconds) to going away now with no medal at all, no man, that’s hard. My heart breaks for them, I feel bad for them and that’s what makes it so hard for me to celebrate with a medal. Silver, frankly.”

Watch | Men’s team relay races to the Olympic podium:

IOC approves Olympic medal for Canadian men’s relay team at Tokyo Games

Andre de Grasse led Canada to third place in the Tokyo Olympics 4x100m relay, before Great Britain was stripped of its silver medal as a result of Britain’s Shigendo Ujah test positive.

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Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia Smith described Canadian runners as “fantastic ambassadors” for Canada and the Olympic movement.

“We are delighted that they have been promoted to the silver medal they received,” she said in a statement. “While it is disappointing that we continue to see cases of doping robbing athletes of their moments at the Games, this reinforces the importance of integrity and maintaining clean sport.”

Athletics Canada has said that how the athletes will receive their silver medals remains to be determined.

The Canadian team’s medal count from Tokyo 2020 is now seven gold, seven silver and 10 bronze.

“Now I have an Olympic bronze, I’m going to get an Olympic silver, and all I need is an Olympic gold in Paris 2024 to complete the set,” Brown said.

The process of promoting medals after a doping violation can be daunting.

Watch | What makes Andre De Grasse so fast?:

What makes Andre de Grasse so fast?

Glenroy Gilbert, technical director of Canadian Athletics, has smashed the physical and mental abilities that make Andre de Grass Canada’s fastest man.

Canadian Dylan Armstrong finished fourth in throwing the ball in 2008 in Beijing, so he never had a chance to stand on the Olympic medal podium. Years later, he was promoted to bronze after Andrei Mekhnevich was disqualified from Belarus for doping. Armstrong finally earned his medal – Canada’s first shot at the Olympics – at a ceremony in his hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia, in 2015, after seven years of actual competition.

Last November, Canadian Derek Darwin saw his London Olympics medal upgraded to silver due to a doping disqualification, nine years after he won bronze at those Games.

Canada has taken the podium in the relay at back-to-back Olympics. Brown, De Grasse and Rodney were members of the bronze-medal team at Rio 2016. De Grass, with six Olympic medals, became Canada’s most decorated Olympian in Tokyo. Short-track speed skater Charles Hamlin will equal that mark with his gold at the Beijing Olympics in February.

Swimmer Benny Oleksiak, who has won seven Olympic medals (one gold, two silver, and four bronze), is Canada’s overall medal leader.

2022-05-19 16:17:29

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