OTTAWA -- A number of high profile Canadian track and field meets will take place in the coming weeks as athletes gear up for a chance to done the maple leaf at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Athletics taking place in Berlin, Germany August 15 to 23. The Canadian Track and Field Championships (www.athletics.ca/toronto2009) in Toronto June 25-28 serve as the selection trials for the 2009 World finale in Berlin.
Victoria International Track Classic - June 10. Visit www.trackclassic.com
The 21st annual Victoria Track Classic will take place at Centennial Stadium providing a competitive environment for athletes looking to take the next step, and a source of strong competition for established competitors. The 2009 edition will feature a number of homegrown stars including Julia Howard of Burnaby, BC, Rebecca Johnstone of Bowen Island, BC, Ashley Hinther of Victoria, BC and Olympian Ruky Abdulai from Coquitlam, BC.
Other Canadians to watch in Victoria --
Gary Reed, 800m, Victoria, BC
Dylan Armstrong, Shot Put, Kamloops, BC
Festival of Excellence - June 11. Visit www.festivalofexcellence.ca
The marquee events of the first year Festival of Excellence will be the men's 100 metre and the women's 100 metre hurdles. The Men's 100 will be headlined by Usain Bolt of Jamaica, the reigning world's fastest man and triple gold medalist from the Beijing Olympic Games. He will face some stiff international competition and a duo of Canadian Olympians in Jared Connaughton from New Haven, PEI and Anson Henry from Pickering, ON. The favourite in the women's hurdles will be current World Leader Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Whitby, ON. Lopes-Schliep will lineup against a number of girls who can find themselves in the final at the World Championships later this summer in Berlin including Perdita Felicien from Pickering, ON.
Other Canadians to watch in Toronto --
Nate Brannen, Mile, Cambridge, ON
Tyler Christopher, 400m, Edmonton, AB
Jessica Matassa, 800m Wheelchair, Windsor, ON
Megan Metcalfe, Mile, Edmonton, AB
Kevin Sullivan, Mile, Brantford, ON
Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic - June 14. Visit www.harryjerome.com.
The 2009 Harry Jerome International Track Classic counts an impressive field which includes 11 Olympians, 2 World Championships medalists and 2 4th place finishers from the 2008 Olympic Games. Gary Reed from Victoria, BC highlights the men's 800 metres; Reed was 4th at the Beijing Games and won silver at the 2007 World Championships. Dylan Armstrong from Kamloops, BC headlines the men's shot put, Dylan finished 4th at the Olympic Games missing the podium by a mere centimetre. Rounding out the stars in Vancouver is Edmonton native Tyler Christopher, Christopher is the reigning indoor 400 metre champion and the bronze medalist from the 2005 World Championships. Reed, Armstrong and Christopher are all Canada record holders in their respective events.
Other Canadians to watch in Vancouver --
Sam Effah, 100m, Calgary, AB
Brian Barnett, 100m, Edmonton, AB
Ruky Abdulai, Long Jump and 100m, Coquitlam, BC
Sultana Frizell, Hammer Throw, Ottawa, ON