Derek Drouin (born March 6, 1990) is a Canadian track and field athlete who competes in the high jump. He is the reigning Olympic Champion, having won gold in 2016, and was the 2015 World Champion. He also won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Pan American Games, and won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2013 World Championships.
Drouin at the 2013 World Championships
|Born||March 6, 1990|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Weight||176 lb (80 kg)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|College team||Indiana Hoosiers|
|Achievements and titles|
Drouin's personal best jump of 2.40 metres (7.9 ft), set in 2014, is the Canadian record and ranks him joint eighth on the overall list. In his college career, he was a five-time NCAA Champion in the high jump for the Indiana Hoosiers.
Drouin first learned to high jump in kindergarten in Corunna, Ontario when his teacher introduced the sport to the class. After the lesson, Drouin went home and put a broom over two speakers and started leaping over it. 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. Prior to the 2012 season Drouin had never competed at any senior level World Championships. Drouin won the Big Ten Athlete of the Year in 2013, after becoming the first athlete in NCAA history to win 5 NCAA championships in the high jump.
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. 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. 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. Drouin won the Bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England with a jump of 2.29 metres. This was Canada's first medal in high jump since the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal when Greg Joy medalled for Canada.
2013 World ChampionshipsEdit
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 stood in third place with Mutaz Barshim in second and the 2013 world leader Bohdan Bondarenko winning the gold. 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."
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 Mickaël Hanany and Romania's 2009 Francophone Games champion Mihai Donisan needed three attempts each at that height.
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.
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." 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. Teammate Michael Mason finished behind Drouin in the bronze medal position.
2015 Pan Am and world championEdit
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."
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."
2016 Olympic goldEdit
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. 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. 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."
Drouin is noted for a slightly different technique than most of his contemporary opponents. 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. 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."
Following the 2016 Rio Olympics, Drouin began training for decathlons with the goal of making the 2018 Commonwealth Games team in the multi-event. Drouin said of the professional event change that "it's to get back to what I was doing in college, which was really when I was most confident competing, I kind of felt my strongest, felt like I was in my best physical shape, and I just have a whole lot of fun doing that. It's something I really haven't done in a while, but I'm very excited to get back into that. I was always a pretty strong hurdler in college. I really love throwing javelin. I was always competitive in multis in college and I loved it." On April 7, 2017, at the Sam Adam Multi Event meet in Montecito, California, he set the world decathlon best in the high jump at 2.28 m (7 ft 5 3⁄4 in). His jump and decathlon performance improved upon a record that had stood since 1977. He did add that he still intends to compete in the high jump at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London to defend his world title. Plagued by injury problems prior to the 2017 World Championships, Drouin still hoped to compete in the pinnacle championship of the year. Unfortunately the injury to his achilles tendon forced him, like fellow Canadian and medal favourite Andre De Grasse, to miss the championships.
Drouin was born in Sarnia, Ontario to Sheila (née Teschke) and Gaetan Drouin. He grew up in Corunna, Ontario, a small community in the St. Clair Township. He has two sisters, Jillian and Alysha. Jillian is also an international competitor for Canada, competing at the World Youth Championships, Commonwealth Games, and Pan American Games.
- 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
|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||3rd||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|
- "Drouin and Seaman break Canadian Records & latest Results from Around the Track & Field". Athletics Canada. March 28, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "Derek Drouin profile". Indiana University. Archived from the original on September 28, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "Derek Drouin Profile". IAAF. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- "Olympics-Athletics-Canada's Drouin leaps to gold in men's high jump". Om Riyadat. August 17, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
- "Drouin's latest feat belongs in history, marks golden age of event". The Sarnia Observer. April 25, 2014.
- Mashoka Maimona (July 2, 2012). "Drouin leaps to Olympic berth". Sarnia Observer. Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Nick Murray (August 17, 2016). "Derek Drouin's gold-medal technique may revolutionize high jumping". CBC Sports.
- "Olympic profile". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Tony Care (August 7, 2012). "Canada's Derek Drouin earns high jump bronze". CBC. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Indiana's Drouin and Minnesota's Kessel Named Big Ten Athletes of the Year". BigTen.org. CBS Interactive. June 26, 2013. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Josh Aldrick (July 2, 2012). "Mason qualifies for Olympics in high jump". Calgary Herald. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "Drouin Takes Third at Herculis Monaco". Indiana University. July 20, 2012. Archived from the original on August 27, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Jeff Simmons (August 7, 2012). "Drouin Wins Bronze in Men's High Jump". CTV. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Canadian high jumper Derek Drouin wins bronze at worlds". CBC Sports. August 15, 2013.
- IAAF News, 14 September 2013, "Report: Nice, France – Drouin Gets First Major International Title at Francophone Games".
- "Derek Drouin honoured by Athletics Canada". CBC Sports. December 10, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- "Derek Drouin sets Canadian, meet high jump record at Drake Relays". Winnipeg Free Press. April 25, 2014.
- "Canadian Derek Drouin wins high jump at Commonwealth Games". CBC Sports. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- "Derek Drouin wins Commonwealth high jump". CBC Sports. July 30, 2014.
- "Drouin's high jump gold highlights Canadian track and field medal haul". Toronto Star. July 25, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- Paul Gains (August 30, 2015). "Derek Drouin puts Canada on top of high jump podium". CBC Sports. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Derek Drouin wins gold in Olympic high jump". CBC Sports. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- "World champion Drouin delivers Olympic high jump gold at Rio 2016". www.olympic.ca. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Lori Ewing (February 7, 2017). "Olympic high jump champ Derek Drouin adding decathlon to repertoire". CBC Sports. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- "Canada's Derek Drouin pulls out of worlds with injury". CBC Sports. August 5, 2017.
- "Obituary: TESCHKE Douglas Rudolph". Sarnia Observer. May 29, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Jillian Drouin aims to be brother’s teammate
- "Olympic and Paralympic athletes to receive Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal". Official Canadian Olympic Team Website | Team Canada | 2016 Olympic Games. December 19, 2012. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- Bisson, Shaun (December 20, 2013). "2013: A year in Sarnia sports". The Sarnia Observer. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
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