Sports RoundUp

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:42 PM ET

TORONTO -- There was no chilling for Chilliwack, B.C. native Tyler Christopher yesterday at the Canadian track and field championships.

Christopher, one of Canada's top track athletes and easily the favourite to win yesterday's 400 metre final, pulled up with after about 150 metres and tossed his sleeves on to the track in frustration -- capping off what has been extremely frustrating year for the 2008 world indoor 400-metre champion and 2005 outdoor world championship bronze medallist,

Christopher, 25, was considered a solid medal contender for Canada at last summer's Beijing Olympics but ran a disappointing 45.67 in the heats, finishing fifth and failing to qualify for the semifinals. The runner suggested that his poor performance there was the result of the flu, but there were suggestions that his nerves just got the better of him.

Yesterday, be blamed his breakdown on a sore hamstring.

"Basically better safe than sorry," he said. "The gun went off, I realized at about 30 metres that I wasn't out hard enough, I decided to push a little harder.

"Basically, on the corners, my hamstrings don't like to load up on them too much, and when I was starting to come off, I felt a little twinge in the hamstring. I tried to adjust, felt another little twinge, and then decided to shut it off."

Christopher, who holds in the Canadian record of 44.44 in the 400 metres, has until the end of July to run the world A standard (45.55). The soft-spoken runner admitted that he wasn't about to risk further injury at a nationals -- an event where he sees little competition.

"It's always a challenge to get up for the Canadian nationals, unfortunately there isn't anyone for me to race," Christopher said. "When I was coming up I had Shane Niemi to race against and he had someone to challenge him. Unfortunately I don't. I really wish I did, it would be great."

- Brian Barnett of Edmonton won the 100 metre final, crossing the line in 10.28, beating out Hank Palmer of Montreal (10.40) and Jared Connaughton of Charlottetown (10.47).

FELICIEN RECLAIMS TITLE

There was nothing subtle about Perdita Felicien's victory celebration yesterday.

The former world champion from Pickering, Ont., edged Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Whitby, Ont., to reclaim her national women's 100-metre hurdles title at the Canadian track and field championships yesterday. Felicien ran 12.80 seconds to win what lived up to its billing as the marquee event at Varsity Stadium, while Lopes-Schliep finished in 12.95. Angela Whyte of Edmonton was third in 13.05.

Felicien's victory was her eighth Canadian title, and she held up eight fingers to the crowd and the cameras after crossing the line. She pranced down the track waving her arms, and hollered up to her family and friends in the stands.

"You know me, I don't really showboat, I don't carry on, unless it's world championships or something really big like that. I kind of try to be humble on these kinds of stages," Felicien said. "But this is way too sweet for me and a victory like this only feels good when you've gone through the roads that I've gone through in the last year and a half."

WHITFIELD WINS IN SPRINT

Victoria's Simon Whitfield outran five other competitors in a sprint to the finish to win the $200,000 US first prize yesterday at the Hy-Vee ITU Elite Cup Triathlon in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Whitfield, the silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics, leaned at the tape to edge Australian Brad Kahlefeldt, who's ranked second in the world.

Kahlefeldt, Beijing gold medallist Jan Frodeno of Germany and New Zealand's Kris Gemmell all tumbled to the ground behind Whitfield.

Whitfield finished in one hour 49 minutes and 43 seconds.

Victoria's Brent McMahon finished seventh.

Vancouver's Lauren Groves was third in the women's event.

EDMONTON'S SEHN GOLDEN

Alexandre Despatie of Laval, Que., and Reuben Ross of Regina set a meet record score en route to the gold medal in the three-metre synchro yesterday at the Summer Nationals diving competition.

Despatie and Ross, who are tuning up for next month's world championships, totalled 430.23 points. They saw 9.0's out of a possible 10 on five of their six dives.

On women's three-metre, three-time Olympic medallist Emilie Heymans of St-Lambert, Que., notched her fifth career national crown in the event with 326.40 points.

On men's 10-metre tower, Eric Sehn of Edmonton earned his second gold of the competition totalling 431.70.

"Right now for me it's all about going up there and not missing any dives and that's what I did today," said Sehn, the one-metre winner on Thursday. "I feel if I can show that stability at the worlds I have the potential to make the final (top-12)."

CANADA CRUSHES KIWIS

Maxime Boutin ran for 142 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Canada to a 55-0 rout of New Zealand yesterday at the inaugural IFAF World Junior Football Championship in Canton, Ohio.

The Canadians, who come in as the top-ranked team in the tournament, advance to Wednesday's semifinal. They'll face the upstart Japanese, who rallied to beat Germany 10-7.

Canadian head coach Glen Constantin wasn't surprised with the final score.

"We knew we were playing against one of the weakest teams in the tournament," Constantin said. "It was important for us to play at our level. Our execution was good overall and Im very satisfied with our performance. It augurs well for the rest of the tournament."

BRONZE FOR CANADA

Amanda Friend scored five goals and an assist yesterday to lead Canada over England 14-9 in the bronze-medal match of the women's lacrosse World Cup in Prague.

It was the third straight meeting for bronze between the two countries at this event, with England victorious in the previous two. Their last meeting came at the 2005 World Cup in Annapolis, Md.

"When we play together we get where we need to be," said Friend. "It is just so amazing a feeling. We wanted to get Canada up (in the rankings) and I feel like we are getting there."

Later yesterday the U.S. team finished the tournament undefeated by edging the Australians 8-7 in the final.

YANKS EDGE CANADA

Canada's university men's basketball team dropped a close-fought 85-81 decision to the United States last night in a tuneup to the 2009 Summer Universiade in Belgrade.

The Canadians kick off the official Universiade tournament July 2 against Italy.

Sun Media News Services


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