Having carved a remarkable athletic legacy with the OUA’s University of Windsor Lancers, Melissa Bishop’s aspirations for a podium finish at the Pan Am Games were exceeded by a golden performance. Breaking the two-minute mark in the women’s 800 meters, the 26-year old employed tactical strategy as she remained with the top three runners throughout the race.
Surpassing the top three runners in the last 150 meters (she climbed into second by passing on the outside), Bishop’s crossing of the finish line resulted in an ecstatic crowd of Canadian fans in attendance, as host country Canada’s gold medal streak extend to twelve consecutive days. Registering a time of 1:59.62, Bishop finished ahead of American Alysia Montano, who settled for silver, while Brazil’s Flavia De Lima claimed bronze.
Jubliant over winning a gold medal on home soil, the native of Eganville, Ontario acknowledged the impact of the crowd in post-race interviews. With the gold, Bishop contributed Canada’s fifth gold in athletics at the Games.
Considering that she finished in eighth place at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Bishop continues to improve, establishing herself as a clear contender for gold at the 2016 Rio Summer Games. Taking into account that she suffered an ankle injury in May, several weeks of training were lost, only adding to the impact of the gold medal outcome.
As a member of the Windsor Lancers female track and field team, she helped them grab three CIS track and field championships. Of note, she would capture gold in the CIS national championships in the 600-meter and 1000-meter races with Windsor, where she earned a Bachelor of Education in 2011.
Making her Summer Games debut for Canada at London 2012 (where she placed 30th), it was part of a breakthrough year that saw her break the two-minute mark for the first time in her career. Accomplishing the feat at the Prefontaine Classic, she would build on this momentum with consecutive Canadian championships in 2013 and 2014, respectively.