Canada's Bishop-Nriagu races toTokyo Olympic standard in the 800

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Melissa Bishop-Nriagu has clinched her spot in the Tokyo Olympics.

The 2015 world silver medallist from Eganville, Ont., ran one minute 59.04 seconds to win the 800 metres at a Chula Vista high performance meet on Sunday night, dipping below the automatic qualifying time of 1:59.50.

Sarah Mitton of Brooklyn, N.S., threw 18.70 metres to win the women's shot put, while Brittany Crew of Mississauga, Ont., was third (18.04). Both Mitton and Crew already have the Olympic standard.

Canadian Paralympian Nate Riech ran 1:55.20 to win his 800.

Canadian athletes have struggled to qualify for the Games amid tight travel restrictions. Bishop-Nriagu trained for several weeks in Victoria to escape rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in Ontario this past winter.

Numerous Canadian athletes have travelled to the U.S. in recent weeks in hopes of achieving Olympic standards, or for tune-up opportunities before the Games.

Track and field athletes can qualify for the Games either by achieving the automatic standard or by being globally ranked a certain number, depending on event.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press