Oshawa love pours in for local runner’s Olympic accomplishments


Published August 9, 2021 at 2:44 pm


“Just a kid from Oshawa” was the simple post on Twitter from Matt Hughes, the 31 year-old middle distance runner from Paul Dwyer High School.

The picture accompanying the post tells a bigger story though, showing Hughes sitting on top of an Olympic Rings statue in Tokyo, the day after he finished sixth in the Olympic final of the 3,000-metre Steeplechase.

His achievement was massive, especially in an event that has been dominated by runners from African nations. Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali won gold this year, breaking a streak of nine straight Kenyan gold medalists in the grueling event, which features hurdles and water hazards to go with its 12-and-a-half laps of the track.

2020 was no different, with African athletes sweeping the medals and taking the top five spots, in fact.

Hughes, in a time of 8:16.03, was next.

His Twitter post drew plenty of love from fans back in Oshawa, with 57 re-tweets, 1,376 likes and 30 comments from well-wishers back home.

Local journalists were among those who sent their congratulations to the Oshawa athlete”

“Fantastic effort Matt. That was fun to watch.” – Brian

“Congrats on a HUGE performance. This went totally under the radar. Your 6th place finish is just as noteworthy as any medal won by a Canadian in Tokyo. You might not have a medal but you are worthy of one.” – Bruce

“Making the final? Not surprised at all. Sixth? Epic, Matt. My entire family is proud of you.” – Glenn

The comments came pouring in from others in the community as well:

“Amazing job Matt!” – Emily

“Congrats to you. You are a jewel.” – Sunny

“Canada is proud of you! That was an amazing race!” – Jennifer

“Congratulations!!! Making your country proud of you!” – Robin

“Congratulation! It was an impressive race! – Amy

“Way to go!!!!! You did amazing!” – Jewlya

“Congrats man, it’s been a pleasure to watch” – Rob

“Congratulations…awesome accomplishment!” – Kerri

“Well done Matt!” – Michael

Even the local constabulary chimed in:

#OshawaProud – Durham Regional Police

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