Canada won 24 medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, with 6 coming from Athletics. The 6 medals equals the total medals from the Athletics team in 2016, and considering the two golds vs 2016’s single gold medal, is the best performance from Canadian Athletics since the 1932 Los Angeles games. The 6 medals put Canadian Athletics in 8th place, while the team’s 15 top-8 placings put Canada in 5th place, the best in modern games history. With such an impressive team performance, I wanted to highlight the medal winners
The team of Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney, and Andre de Grasse brought home the final olympic medal of the athletics campaign with a bronze. The time of 37.70 is the 3rd best all time from a Canadian team, only behind the bronze medal performance in the Rio 2016 games and the gold from the Atlanta 1996 games.
The silver medal winning Great Britain’s time is the fastest silver medal in Olympic history pointing to not just to the progression of the sprint times, but the depth of competition in the event.
With the potential of Great Britain’s silver medal winning team being disqualified, there is potential for Canada getting upgraded to silver.
Andre De Grasse Trifecta
Andre De Grasse cemented himself as a superhuman sprinter and one of the greatest olympians in Canadian history. His three medals in Tokyo 2020 to match his three from Rio 2016 put him in some illustrious company.
With Penny Oleksiak and Andre De Grasse likely competing again in three years at the 2024, there is the potential for the top end of this graph to change again soon.
Andre’s 100m bronze medal keeps Canada as the country with the 4th most medals in the event. It is Canada’s 7th medal in the event, the most successful athletics event for Canada all time.
De Grasse’s best event is the 200m where he won gold and improved upon his own national record. With his incredible top speed, the average pace of his 200m was faster than his 100m by 0.3 km/hr.
Mohammed Ahmed has been the standout male distance runner in Canada for several years now with Canadian records from 3000m to 10000m. At this Olympics he achieved his first Olympic medal with a bronze medal in the 5000m. Coupled that with a gutsy 6th place in the 10000m, Mohammed Ahmed is undeniably one of the greatest Canadian runners of all-time.
Ahmed has steadily improved upon his 5000m time leading up to this Olympics, with only 3 years since 2009 that haven’t been improvements on the year before.
Evan Dunfee Walks away with Bronze
After a contentious fourth place at the 2016 Rio Olympic games, Evan Dunfee claimed the elusive bronze medal with a momentous final kick. Tokyo was the final 50km race at the Olympics as it ends it’s walk through Olympic history that started in 1932.
Dunfee is the Canadian record holder in the 5000m (18:39.08), 10000m (38:39.72), and 50km (3:41:38) race walks. His marathon split during his 50km record is approximately 3:09:30, which is a Boston Qualifier for men above the age of 40.
When Dunfee broke the Canadian record in 2015, it had been standing since 1981. Dunfee has since bested his own record, and is clearly a standout in the distance when compared to the athletes that fill out the top 10.
Damien Warner - Instagram Worthy
Damien Warner was crowned the unofficial greatest athlete with his win of the Decathlon. Each individual performance is outstanding in it’s own right, from a 100m that would have placed him in the 100m final, to a high jump that would have been good enough for bronze. More analysis is likely warranted on the results themselves, but for now I wanted to look at his Instagram following during the games.
Instagram is good measure for an athletes marketability which has a large impact on the sponsorship opportunities for athletes. Damien saw one of the largest upticks of any Canadian at the games, with 12930 followers before his events started on August 4th, to 23172 followers the day after he won gold. Interestingly, he only received a couple thousand more followers after being named the flagbearer on August 7th.