On May 28 at the Bob Vigars Classic in London, Ont., Canadian Track and Field League (CTFL) Bears sprinter Usheoriste Itsekiri set a new meeting, facility and league record of 10.02 seconds (+1.4 m/s) in the men’s 100m. His 10.02 clocking is the fastest time on Canadian soil in 2023.
Itsekiri matched his personal best of 10.02 seconds from the 2019 African Games, where he won a bronze medal for Nigeria. The 25-year-old sprinter currently lives and trains in Regina, where he is in his third year at the University of Regina. This past indoor season, he took home U Sports and Canada West gold medals in the 60m.
Itsekiri’s incredible time is the second-fastest 100m run by a Nigerian in 2023 and is tied for 19th in the world, just two-hundredths of a second behind the 2023 world championships qualifying standard of 10 flat. Only 14 men have run under the world standard this season. The fastest legal time by a Canadian this year was by Jerome Blake, who ran 10.08 seconds at the Florida Relays in April.
In addition to Itsekiri’s record-breaking run, CTFL athletes Michelle Harrison (Arctics) and David Adeleye (Bears) placed first in their respective sprint hurdles events, both breaking meet records. Harrison, who represented Team Canada in the 100m hurdles at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Ore., also broke the meet and facility 100m hurdles record that had been in place since 2001 with a 12.86 clocking.
Itsekiri’s and Adeleye’s fast results were not enough to see the Bears maintain third in the CTFL standings; they slipped to fourth with 758 points. The Huskies moved from second to third place with 830 points, as the Arctics shot up from fourth to second with 833 points, holding a three-point lead over the Huskies. The Spitfires maintain their commanding position at the top of the league with 1,132 points.
The meet, which was held at Western University’s Alumni Stadium, had 103 CTFL athletes participate in the open and elite categories. The Bob Vigars Classic was the third preliminary meet of the CTFL season. The league will take a short break before returning on June 21 in Guelph, Ont. With two meets left before the CTFL championship, athletes will shoot for times to qualify for the final meet in Ottawa on Aug. 5.