Bishop Takes AIT 800m Crown

Header-image-Shalapata-2By Ian Shalapata

(ATHLONE, IRELAND) – Big things were expected at the showdown in Ireland at the 3rd annual AIT International Grand Prix. With current and former world record holders in attendance, track and field fans were going to get value for their money.

Confirmed to race was former Windsor Lancer star Melissa Bishop, the outdoor 800m silver medalist sporting a personal best of 1:57.52. Bishop was expecting tough competition from European stars such as Anastasiya Tkachuk of Ukraine, as well as Adelle Tracey of Great Britain.

While all the runners completed the race above their PBs, it was still a competitive affair with Bishop finishing first in a time of 2:00.60, a meet record. Almost two seconds behind was Tracey who nosed out Tkachuk by 0.1 seconds at 2:02.34.


World silver medalist Melissa Bishop appeared at the St Denis Fieldhouse during the 2016 Can-Am Classic in January 2016. Bishop won the AIT International Grand Prix women’s 80m in a time of 2:00.60.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Also appearing for Canada was world pole vault champion Shawn Barber, who owns the Canadian indoor record of 6.00m. He set the record only three weeks ago in Reno, NV.

Barber and American Sam Kendricks left the field behind and dueled for supremacy. Great Britain’s Luke Cutts was expected to push Barber, but he bowed out at 5.45m.

Kendricks failed at his first attempt at 5.71m but completed the second try as Barber waited and watched. The Canadian decided to skip 5.71m altogether and cleared his first attempt at 5.77m, putting the pressure back on Kendricks.

On his next vault, Kendricks opted to try the height of 5.83m, but failed. He fared no better on his second or third at that height.

Just for kicks, Barber tried to clear 5.89m and promptly missed on each of three attempts. He settled for setting the meet record at 5.77m.


About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata