Steve Ewen, PostMedia
Add another Canadian medal contender for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic.
World champion high jumper Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., is scheduled to compete at the Jerome when it starts June 17 at Swangard Stadium, meet officials announced Tuesday.
Drouin joins the likes of sprinter Andre De Grasse, 800-metre specialist Melissa Bishop, javelin’s Liz Gleadle and race-walkers Ben Thorne, Inaki Gomez and Evan Dunfee as marquee Canadian competitors for the Burnaby-based meet.
The opening ceremonies in Rio are set for Aug. 5.
Drouin, 26, will compete at the Jerome alongside Nanoose Bay’s Mike Mason, 29, a UBC product. Drouin and Mason captured the gold and silver medals, respectively, at the Pan American Games in Toronto last July, and then in August Drouin struck gold at the worlds in Beijing. He was the only jumper to clear 2.34 metres in a rare jump-off for the top three positions.
His bronze was Canada’s lone athletics medal at the London 2012 Games. Drouin owns the Canadian record, with his leap of 2.40 metres in a Des Moines, Iowa meet on April 25, 2014.
He won five indoor and outdoor NCAA titles while competing for four years at Indiana University. He trained for another three years in Indiana before moving to the Toronto area in the fall.
He told the Canadian Press in January that he was “totally shielded” from the hype going into the London Games by living in Indiana, and contended he was “young” at the time so it was a “really good thing for me to be shielded from everything.
“But now I’m more seasoned obviously,” he continued, “and I’m excited for the buildup this year.”
De Grasse, 21, of Markham, Ont., captured gold at the Pan Ams in the 100m and 200m, and bronze in the 100m at the worlds.
Bishop, 27, of Eganville, Ont., set a national record in the 800m in the semifinals at worlds and then finished second in the finals.
Vancouver’s Gleadle, 27, won gold at the Pan Ams.
Kitimat’s Thorne, 23, Richmond’s Dunfee, 25, and Vancouver’s Gomez, 28, were part of the Canadian quartet that captured silver in the 20-kilometre event at the world race walking team championships in Rome on May 7.