Former WKU All-American Gavin Smellie ran the lead leg Sunday of Canada’s bronze medal-finishing 4x100-meter relay at the World Track and Field Championships in Moscow.
Smellie and fellow relay members Aaron Brown, Dontae Richards-Kwok and Justyn Warner placed third in the event with a time of 37.92, finishing behind the United States and the two-time defending gold medalist Jamaican relay led by Usain Bolt.
Smellie and Canada’s bronze medal at the World Championships helped erase the memory of the 2012 London Olympic Games, where the Canadian 4X100-meter relay posted a bronze medal finish before disqualification due to an apparent lane violation.
“I’m so ecstatic, especially thinking back to last year and what happened,” Smellie told Canada’s The Globe and Mail. “To come back and get bronze, I’m just so happy. We competed to the best of our ability, and we leave here with a bronze medal.”
“I am so happy for Gavin,” said WKU coach Erik Jenkins, who coached Smellie from 2008-10. “He has trained hard and dedicated himself to be a professional athlete. I have witnessed many ups and downs with him over the year and they all prepare you for the big stage. Last year at the Olympics we just didn’t quite get it done but a year later and a year wiser, he accomplished his major goal of medaling. I wish him continued success as he moves forward in his professional career.”
The Etobicoke, Ontario, native isn’t far removed from a stellar career at WKU. Smellie competed for the Hilltoppers from 2006-10 and earned All-America honors in 2008 and ‘09.