Derek Drouin earned Indiana University's 14th Olympic medal in track and field and the 88th in all sports, taking a share of the bronze medal in the men's high jump. Drouin finished in a three-way tie for third place, winning Canada's first track and field medal in London and the first in the high jump since 1976, when Greg Joy took silver in Montreal. Drouin returns to Bloomington this fall and has both indoor and outdoor eligibility remaining for 2012-13.
"I thought a medal was a realistic possibility," said Drouin. "I can't wait to get my medal tomorrow night. I had to sit there and wait for Jamie Nieto of the USA to miss his jump to confirm the bronze medal, that was really hard. It was great to celebrate on the track with the Canadian flag signed by my community in Sarnia (Ontario). Their support has been amazing."
Drouin cleared 2.29m (7-6) on his first attempt, and tied with Robert Grabarz of Great Britain and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Quatar for third place. The trio held the lead when the bar moved to 2.33m (7-7.75) and saw only gold medalist Ivan Ukhov of Russia and silver medalist Erik Kynard of the U.S. clear that height. A pass from Jamie Nieto of the U.S. on his third attempt at 2.33, added a little drama, as he got one attempt at 2.36m to try and pass the three tied for third. His miss clinched Drouin's share of the bronze. Ukhov went on to clear 2.38m (7-9.75) for the win.
Drouin opened the competition with an easy first-attempt clearance of the opening height, 2.20m (7-2.5). The next bar, 2.25m (7-4.5), proved to be the same, as he cleared it on his first attempt, advancing to the third bar, 2.29m (7-6), as one of nine jumpers without a miss. He was one of only three to clear 2.29m without any misses in competition, moving himself into a three-way tie for the lead with Grabarz and Barshim. The next bar, 2.33m (7-7.75), was cleared by only Ukhov and Kynard.
"Derek once again proved to be a great, great competitor," said Indiana Track and Field director and head coach Ron Helmer. "He was not satisfied to just qualify for the Olympic games, nor was he satisfied to just make the final. He jumped like a true champion today and while I'm sure there is something inside of him saying he could have been better today or should have been better today the fact is, he is now an Olympic medalist. While wearing the colors of his home country, Canada, he represented all Hoosiers with dignity and demonstrated a level of competitive spirit to which we should all aspire. I could not ask for a better individual to represent our University on the biggest track and field stage in the world. We are all very, very proud of his accomplishment."
Drouin's bronze medal is the third in IU history, and the 14th overall. Drouin's medal is Indiana Track and Field's first in the high jump, fourth in field event competition, and the second in the vertical jumps (Leroy Samse took silver in the pole vault in 1904). It is the first field event medal won by a Hoosier in 56 years, as Greg Bell gold in the long jump in 1956 was the last. The medal is just the second in track and field by a Canadian since 1996 (male or female), and it is the first in any field event since Joy's silver in 1976 (male or female). He is the third Canadian all-time to medal in the men's high jump, and his medal is the first for Canada in men's track and field since 1996.