B.C. race walkers Dunfee and Lundman set national record as they qualify for Paris Olympics

Three weeks ago, sprinter Audrey Leduc inched closer to the Olympic standard in the women’s 100 metres. On Saturday, she achieved her goal while shattering a long-standing Canadian record.

Leduc ran to a second-place finish in 10.96 seconds outdoors at the LSU Alumni Gold meet in Baton Rouge, La., after clocking 11.08 and falling 1-100th of a second shy of the Paris Olympic standard on March 30 at the Florida Relays.

Aleia Hobbs won in 10.88 while fellow American Celera Barnes was third (11.10).

Leduc’s performance Saturday in a legal wind (+0.5 metres per second) broke the national mark of 10.98 by the late Angela Bailey from July 6, 1987 at the Budapest Grand Prix in Hungary.

Bailey, who also captured a women’s Olympic relay silver medal in 1984, died of lung cancer last July 31 at age 59.

WATCH | Leduc takes down Bailey’s 36-year-old Canadian 100m record:

Gatineau’s Audrey Leduc smashes 36-year-old Canadian women’s 100m sprint record

18 hours ago

Duration 0:14

Audrey Leduc of Gatineau, Que., stopped the clock at 10.96 seconds at a race in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday, April 20, eclipsing the Canadian women’s 100-metre record set by Angela Bailey (10.98) in 1987.

The 25-year-old Leduc opened her 2023 outdoor season in 11.53 at the Florida Relays in Gainesville and set a then-personal best of 11.38 last July 15 at the Ontario U20 and Open Athletics Championships in Toronto.

She performed well indoors earlier this year, running a 7.21-second PB in the women’s 60m semifinals at the World Athletics Indoor Championships but didn’t qualify among the top eight for the final, placing 18th in Glasgow.

Leduc had gone 7.22 earlier in the day in her heat a week after a 7.25 clocking at an event hosted by Laval University, where the five-foot-seven athlete is a business student.

In August 2022, Leduc set a Canada Games record, stopping the clock in 11.55 seconds to win the women’s 100 in Thorold, Ont.

Squeezing into Olympic qualifying spot

On Sunday, two-time Canadian Olympian Evan Dunfee and Olivia Lundman secured the 21st of 22 qualifying spots for Paris in the marathon race walk mixed relay at the World Athletics team championships in Antalya, Turkey.

They finished the 42.2-kilometre competition in three hours seven minutes 10 seconds for a national record, according to Athletics Canada.

“So incredibly proud of [Olivia’s] gutsy race,” the 33-year-old Dunfee wrote to his X account about Lundman, 21, who he began coaching this year. “It almost came completely undone with 500 metres to go, but Liv willed herself to the finish line with incredible determination.”

Dunfee of Richmond, B.C., and Lundman of nearby Nanaimo also competed in the 2022 race.

Valentina Trapletti and Francisco Fortunato of Italy were tops among 64 finishers on Sunday in 2:56:45.

Teams completed the race in legs of 12.195 km (man), 10 km (woman), 10 km (man) and 10 km (woman).

The mixed team event makes its Olympic debut on Aug. 7, replacing the 50 km individual competition.

In January, Dunfee began his competitive season by setting Canadian and North American marks in the 10,000-metre event with nearly an 11-second PB in Canberra, Australia.

He qualified for Paris in the men’s 20 km event last Aug. 19 when he reached the finish in 1:18:03 at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Two weeks ago, Dunfee went 1:18:41 at the 92nd Poděbrady meet in the Czech Republic. 

A male race walker and his female teammate extend their arms to hold a Canadian flag behind their back after setting a national record and qualifying for the Paris Olympics at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey.
Race walkers Evan Dunfee and Olivia Lundman met the Olympic standard and set a national record Sunday in the marathon mixed team event, which makes its Summer Games debut on Aug. 7, replacing the 50 km individual competition. (X/@AthleticsCanada)


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