April 10, 2016
Tommy represented Canada proudly in two races- the 1500m on Saturday evening and the 5000m Sunday morning here in Grosseto, Italy. He was so excited and it was wonderful to see how well he handled his very first international races. When his name was announced in Italian, and we heard “Canada….Thomas Des Brisay” it was very emotional indeed. He raced with amazing athletes from many countries around the world. It was such an honour to be here! All of the athletes, organizers, volunteers, coaches, and hosts of this event have been so kind, helpful, and friendly towards Tommy.
Tommy’s 1500m race result was surprising in that his pace was very relaxed. He finished 5th place, with a time of 4:41. Tommy has not really given us any insight into why, but suffice to say that “you never can tell with Tommy’s”! We have theories as to why, but they are just that-theories! Had he run closer to his recent personal best of 4:11 for the 1500m, which he ran in March 2016 in Ottawa, he would have placed more favourably, however we were so proud that he finished with a great attitude, looking forward to the next race. Here are the results:
In the 5000m, Tommy and a runner from Spain led the race for the first 10 laps, and then the Spanish runner surged ahead. Tommy finished second place with a time of 15:51. It was a wonderful race and a great way for Tommy to end his trip to Italy on a very positive note! Here are the results:
Tommy has now successfully completed his first round of classification as a T20 para athlete, which means he is one step closer to being eligible for selection to Rio (should he run the T20 qualification standard of 4:04 in the 1500m by July). Becoming classified also means that his race results will now be eligible to appear online in the list of official IPC world rankings for T20 athletes. At the moment, it seems that Tommy’s 5000m time from today, once it appears, may rank him as first in the world in 2016 T20 5000m performances so far this year! (The T20 5000m is not a Rio event, but we hope it may become a T20 event in future games.)
Overall, Tommy was thrilled to be here in Italy, made many new friends, and stayed upbeat, accepting the challenges of jetlag and new languages, and all of the many things that an international trip entails.
Congratulations to all the amazing athletes in Tommy’s races, and at this event! Thank you so much to all those who have helped Tommy all week and cheered him on! We have felt very welcomed and very supported here. Grazie <3 We fly home tomorrow and so we are currently enjoying one last afternoon here before packing up. We will upload some race video once home....the clips are too long to upload in the wifi here in the hotel. There doesn't seem to be any video online of his races...but if anyone comes across any, please post the link below! Thanks again for all the support and cheering on from Tommy Des Brisay's friends 🙂