BURNABY—There are many story lines surrounding the 32nd annual Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic Monday, June 8, at Swangard Stadium, a meet in which Achilles International Track Society Chair Doug Clement has described “the strongest overall events we’ve had in sometime.”
Four hundred athletes, 29 Olympians from 17 countries, will invade the Burnaby facility for the three hour, 28 event meet that begins at 6:28 p.m. with the men’s Javelin and ends at 9:15 p.m. with one of the meet’s highlight events, the men’s 200 metres.
Even the weatherman is co-operating predicting clear, sunny skies and daytime temperatures in the mid 20s.
The top story line, though, continues to be Canada’s track and field team to the Pan American Games in Toronto, July 19-26. In a departure from the past, the Pan Am Games has declared that the top two Canadian performances by June 14 will make up the national team, which is expected to be in the neighbourhood of 80 athletes. With the Jerome the second-to-last meet before the deadline (Victoria hosts the final meet June 10) athletes sitting on the “bubble” will be all out to earn the trip to Toronto.
And things are changing rapidly. Case in point, the men’s 1500 metres.
One week ago the top two performances were held down by Justyn Knight (3:39.66) and Thomas Riva (3:39.66) but then along came Toronto’s Nathan Brannen (3:37.68) and Quebec’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (3:39.05) in International meets to oust the top two. Riva will try to get back into the game and will run at the Jerome. Nathan Brannen will be there along with Ontario’s Jeremy Rae who is knocking on the door with a 3:40.54
Clement points out that while most events will be highly competitive, he points to the men’s 200 and 400 metres and high jump as ones to watch closely as well as the women’s long jump where Surrey’s Christabel Nettey last week at Oregon’s Prefontaine meet recorded the longest legal jump in the world this year and the Javelin where Vancouver’s Liz Gleadle is currently ranked number eight in the world.
In the past, qualifying standards for both the 2016 Summer Olympics and World championships were required to be set in the year of those events but the IAAF now will allow standards to be set one year in advance. Not only could athletes at the Jerome find themselves on the Pan Am Games team but the Olympic and World team as well.
Further Information: Diane Clement, Media Co-Ordinator, 604-261-6220.