Seven years after the Kazan Universiade, Groenewoud, Furlan upgraded to gold, silver

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It was a journey to the medal podium that took seven years, and robbed them of a chance to celebrate together in the spotlight.

Canadian steeplechasers Chantelle Groenewoud and Jessica Furlan were upgraded this week to gold and silver medallists at the 2013 Universiade due to doping infractions.

Groenewoud, from North Vancouver, B.C., originally finished fourth, narrowly missing the Canadian record, while Regina's Furlan was fifth in the 3,000-metre steeplechase at the Kazan Games.

But all three medallists, including Russian gold medallist Yulia Zaripova, the 2012 London Olympic champion, had their results erased due to doping infractions.

“It’s a bittersweet emotion for me," Groenewoud said on Athletics Canada's website. "There’s no one else I’d rather share a podium with than Jessica. Part of it is never getting that experience when you’re on the podium and your national anthem is playing, or you’re in the race and you’re realizing that ‘Wow! I’m going to win gold or silver!'"

The medals mark the first time a pair of Canadians have stood on the top two podium spots at the FISU Games, according to U Sports.

"We are immensely proud of Chantelle and Jessica for their performance," U Sports interim CEO Dick White said in a statement. "Canada applauds the essential work of both FISU and World Athletics for their diligence in upholding the integrity of clean sport and ensuring our student-athletes received their rightful recognition."

Groenewoud has retired from competing and is expecting her first child.

A foot injury hampered Farlan's bid to make the 2016 Olympic team. She hopes to be on the start line in Tokyo this summer.

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs and making the Olympic Team this year would be amazing,” she told Athletics Canada. "I continue to pursue this sport because I know I haven't achieved the greatest performances that I have in me. That's what I'm continually chasing. If I can achieve that, I know I can make the Olympic Team."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press