World Record attempt by Duane Solomon at Jerome Classic 600m on Canada Day

Duane Solomon wins US Championships

Duane Solomon wins US Championships

2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic.  For the first time, invitation’s coordinator, Marek Jedrzejek, is planning a world record-breaking attempt. This long time coach of the University of British Columbia joins his fellow volunteers from the Achilles Track and Field Society each year, to organize this international track and field meet.

This year, Duane Solomon, the newly minted American 800m champion from Lompoc, CA, will make a world record attempt. This concept is the brainchild of Johnny Gray, the middle distance coach at UCLA who happens to be Duane’s coach.

Johnny Gray

Johnny Gray

Johnny Gray, a 4 time Olympian and 1992 Olympic Bronze medal winner in Barcelona, might know something about records as he hold the Jerome Classic 800m record of 1:43.70 set in 1988 as well as the world record in the 600m with the time of 1:12.81. The now 53-year-old Gray, set the American record of 1:42.60 in 1985.

The 600m is the distance Johnny wants his protégé, Duane Solomon to tackle on Canada Day at Swangard Stadium.


Duane was 4th at the 2012 London Olympics when the David Rudisha of Kenya set the world record of 1:40.91. Duane ran 1:42.82.  His goal next Monday is his coach’s world record over the less commonly contested 600m distance.

Both Johnny Gray and now his protégé Duane Solomon, have a tendency to aggressively lead the pace when the main opponent will be the clock and the record book.  To break Johnny’s record, Marek Jedrzejek says

“Duane will need to run 23 seconds, 24 seconds and 25 seconds for each of the three 200m’s.  This would mean a 400m in 47 seconds followed by a 25 second closer over the last 200m. This will be an exciting challenge to break his coach’s record of 1:12.21”

Duane Solomon will be helped by teammates, Richard Jones and Sharif Webb.

Over 40 Olympians from more than 12 countries will battle during the 30th anniversary of the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic for qualification to the IAAF World Championship set for Moscow, Russia from August 10th to 18th.

Tickets for the NTL event on July 1 are $10 for general admission and $25 for finish line.

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