Derek Drouin

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Derek Drouin
Derek Drouin Moscow 2013.jpg
Drouin at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics
Personal information
Nationality Canadian
Born (1990-03-06) March 6, 1990 (age 26)
Sarnia, Ontario
Residence Corunna, Ontario[1]
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Weight 176 lb (80 kg)
Sport
Event(s) High jump
College team Indiana Hoosiers[2]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) High jump: 2.40 NR, Des Moines, 2014[3]

Derek Drouin (born March 6, 1990) is a Canadian high jumper from Corunna, Ontario. He is the reigning Olympic champion[4] after winning gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics and is also the reigning world champion in high jump. He previously won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as well as the bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics. Drouin's national record jump of 2.40 metres (7 ft 10 in) during the 2014 season sent him to prestigious heights, becoming just the tenth man in the world to ever clear that height in outdoor competition.[5] Aside from his title as world champion Drouin is also the reigning Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games champion in the high jump. In his college career he was a five time NCAA champion in the high jump for the Indiana Hoosiers.[6]

Career[edit]

Drouin first learned to high jump in kindergarten in Corunna, Ontario when his teacher introduced the sport to the class.[7] After the lesson, Drouin went home and put a broom over two speakers and started leaping over it.[7] He first achieved international success when he won the 2009 Pan American Junior Championships in high jump for Canada, clearing 2.27 m. He would continue on in his career competing in the NCAA with the Indiana Hoosiers track team where he would be the first Hoosier athlete to win an NCAA championship in high jump.[8] Prior to the 2012 season Drouin had never competed at any senior level World Championships.[9] Drouin won the Big Ten Athlete of the Year after becoming the first athlete in NCAA history to win 5 NCAA championships in the high jump.[10]

He competed in the high jump event at the 2012 Summer Olympics after winning the Canadian national championships with a 2.31 to edge out compatriot Michael Mason who also competed in London.[11] Drouin was almost unable to get to the point where he could compete at the Olympics, having torn three ligaments in his foot in 2011 after jumping in a meet in Mississippi State and only returned to competition in April 2012.[6] In two Diamond League meets in London and Monaco before the Olympics, Drouin won and finished third with a 2.26 and 2.30 for each respective meet.[12] Drouin won the Bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England with a jump of 2.29 metres.[9][13] This was Canada's first medal in high jump since the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal when Greg Joy medalled for Canada.[9]

2013 World Championships[edit]

Drouin jumping at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

The 2013 World Championships in Athletics that took place in Moscow was the next major global competition for Drouin. At these games he again found himself in the bronze competition with a personal best and a national record 2.38 m, but was unable to achieve 2.41 m. In contrast to London he did stand alone in third place with Mutaz Barshim in second and the 2013 world leader Bohdan Bondarenko winning the gold.[14] Drouin had a lot to say of the moment but felt he could achieve more "I wanted to prove this year that I deserved to be on the podium in London 2012, feels good to have accomplished that goal. I was joking after that I never thought I would only place third jumping 2.38 metres, I'm certainly not disappointed, it was an incredible competition. I felt like 2.41 metres was attainable but it's always emotional when you set a personal best, getting another one in the same competition was a daunting task. That height is definitely a realistic goal for me now."[14]

One month after the Worlds, Drouin won his first major international title at the 7th edition of the Francophone Games held in Nice, France on Saturday September 14, 2013. Three men cleared 2.30m in the High Jump, but victory went to Drouin as he went over on his first attempt, while France’s Mickael Hanany and Romania’s 2009 Francophone Games champion Mihai Donisan needed three attempts each at that height.[15]

As a result of his record breaking season Drouin won three major awards from Athletics Canada. He was awarded the Jack W. Davies Trophy as outstanding athlete of the year, plus the F.N.A Rowell Trophy as athlete of the year in field events, and the Cal D. Bricker Memorial Trophy for outstanding performance of the year.[16]

2014[edit]

Building on his new breakthroughs, the following outdoor season saw Drouin reach new heights when he bettered his Canadian record jumping 2.40 at the 2014 Drake Relays event in Des Moines, United States. In that Friday evening competition on April 25, he cleared the first 8 heights - each on his first attempt - winning at 2.38m: Americans Erik Kynard and Dusty Jonas both cleared 2.35m and were second and third respectively. Drouin then cleared 2.40 on his third attempt for a new Canadian record (and did not attempt to jump higher). Drouin was proud of reaching what he deemed a prestigious height saying "That is a huge barrier distance, I think, for any elite high jumper. It's kind of like the first time making two metres, or seven foot being an elusive seven-foot club. Two-forty has only been cleared by a handful of people ever, so as a high jumper I think I've sort of coined that as my lifetime goal."[17] As a result of the jump, Drouin became just the tenth man in the world to jump 2.40 or higher outdoors, while five others have done it indoors.

Drouin went to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in July, there he won the gold medal with a jump of 2.31 m, while he failed to clear a jump of 2.37 on his next attempts at trying to set the Commonwealth Games record.[18] Teammate Michael Mason finished behind Drouin in the bronze medal position.

2015 Pan Am and world champion[edit]

The 2015 came with two big events for Drouin, the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto followed by the 2015 World Championships in Athletics a few weeks later. In his hometown Pan Am Games in Toronto, Drouin won gold with teammate Mason again grabbing silver in a duplicate result from the Commonwealth Games. After the win Drouin said "My last two meets were season bests also, so I was carrying in some confidence. I knew that being in Toronto and being in front of the crowd like this would be great, so I’m glad I didn’t let that go to waste. Canada winning gold and silver, it can’t get much better than that. Non-verbally, because I didn’t want to jinx it, I was hoping Mike and I would be the top two spots."[19]

At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics Drouin found himself in the finals in a four-way jumpoff after they all cleared 2.33 m but could not make 2.36 m. Drouin managed to make the 2.34 m on his first try while his opponents all faltered, thus securing his world title. After winning he said "It's funny because a few months ago I was just so frustrated with the season. I went about a month and a half without clearing 2.30m, playing with a new approach and trying to peak at the end of the season. I got to the point where I just wanted the season to be done and forget about world championships. Luckily, I was patient and things finally worked out and things clicked and when they clicked they really clicked. I felt like I was in a really good place coming into here."[20]

2016 Olympic gold[edit]

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Drouin jumped a season best height of 2.38 metres to win the gold medal, defeating Barshim and Bondarenko.[21] Drouin cleared every height on his first attempt, until he missed at 2.40 while going for the Olympic record. It was the second medal won by a Canadian male athlete, the first gold medal for a Canadian male, and Canada's third gold medal overall during the Rio de Janeiro Olympiad. Drouin was the first Canadian to win a gold medal in a field sport since Duncan McNaughton, who also won the high jump at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[22] Of the historic gold, Drouin said "We've had a pretty good tradition in high jump, so myself and my teammates are just trying to keep re-writing it. It doesn't matter that I was world champion coming in today. In my eyes, everyone was on even playing ground right from the start. The pressure that maybe other people felt for me I certainly wasn't internalizing."[21]

Drouin is noted for a slightly different technique than most of his contemporary opponents.[7] His approach involves him going slower and bounding toward the bar rather than running at it with pace as his opponents do. This allows him to keep his plant leg stiff, if the leg bends he'll lose the energy he needs in his leg for the jump.[7] Drouin commented on the technique to the New York Times saying "You see, jumpers try to run as fast as they can, and then they put their foot down and their leg isn't able to handle it. So they just end up blowing through the bar."[7]

Personal[edit]

Derek was born in Sarnia, Ontario to parents Gaetan "Gates" Drouin and Sheila Drouin née Teschke,[23] just north of his hometown of Corunna, located in the St. Clair Township. Derek has two sisters, Jillian and Alysha.[8] Jillian is also an international competitor for Canada, competing at the World Youth Championships, Commonwealth Games, and Pan American Games.[24] She is now concentrating on the heptathlon event.

National titles[edit]

Personal bests[edit]

  • Outdoor high jump: 2.40 metres, Des Moines, USA, April 25, 2014
  • Indoor high jump: 2.35 metres, Fayetteville, USA, March 9, 2013
  • Heptathlon world best (indoors): Heptathlon high jump, 2.30 metres (1091 points), Big 10 Indoor Championships, Geneva, Ohio, United States[25]

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Canada
2007 World Youth Championships Ostrava, Czech Republic 10th 2.04
2008 Commonwealth Youth Games Pune, India 3rd 2.09
2009 Pan American Junior Championships Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 1st 2.27
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 3rd 2.29
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd 2.38 NR
Francophonie Games Nice, France 1st 2.30
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 1st 2.31
IAAF Continental Cup Marrakesh, Morocco 4th 2.31
2015 Pan American Games Toronto, Canada 1st 2.37
World Championships Beijing, China 1st 2.34
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1st 2.38

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Drouin and Seaman break Canadian Records & latest Results from Around the Track & Field". Athletics Canada. March 28, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Derek Drouin profile". Indiana University. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Derek Drouin Profile". IAAF. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ http://en.omriyadat.com/american-athletics/athletics-derek-drouin-high-jump
  5. ^ "Drouin's latest feat belongs in history, marks golden age of event". The Sarnia Observer. April 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Mashoka Maimona (July 2, 2012). "Drouin leaps to Olympic berth". Sarnia Observer. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Nick Murray (August 17, 2016). "Derek Drouin's gold-medal technique may revolutionize high jumping". CBC Sports. 
  8. ^ a b "Olympic profile". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Tony Care (August 7, 2012). "Canada's Derek Drouin earns high jump bronze". CBC. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Indiana's Drouin and Minnesota's Kessel Named Big Ten Athletes of the Year". BigTen.org. CBS Interactive. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  11. ^ Josh Aldrick (July 2, 2012). "Mason qualifies for Olympics in high jump". Calgary Herald. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Drouin Takes Third at Herculis Monaco". Indiana University. July 20, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ Jeff Simmons (August 7, 2012). "Drouin Wins Bronze in Men's High Jump". CTV. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Canadian high jumper Derek Drouin wins bronze at worlds". CBC Sports. August 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ IAAF News, 14 September 2013, "Report: Nice, France - Drouin Gets First Major International Title at Francophone Games".
  16. ^ "Derek Drouin honoured by Athletics Canada". CBC Sports. December 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Derek Drouin sets Canadian, meet high jump record at Drake Relays". Winnipeg Free Press. April 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Derek Drouin wins Commonwealth high jump". CBC Sports. July 30, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Drouin's high jump gold highlights Canadian track and field medal haul". Toronto Star. July 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-31. 
  20. ^ Paul Gains (August 30, 2015). "Derek Drouin puts Canada on top of high jump podium". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  21. ^ a b "Derek Drouin wins gold in Olympic high jump". CBC Sports. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  22. ^ "World champion Drouin delivers Olympic high jump gold at Rio 2016". www.olympic.ca. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Obituary: TESCHKE Douglas Rudolph". Sarnia Observer. May 29, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  24. ^ Jillian Drouin aims to be brother’s teammate
  25. ^ Bisson, Shaun (20 December 2013). "2013: A year in Sarnia sports". The Sarnia Observer. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Cam Levins
The Bowerman (men's winner)
2013
Succeeded by
Deon Lendore