The 33rd annual Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic honours the career of British Columbia's Athlete of the 20th Century. He held 5 world records in the sprints during the 1960's. Jerome overcome a career ending total tear of his quadriceps muscle at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth. Australia. Harry achieved a miraculous recovery by extraordinary determination to prove his surgeons wrong. He achieved 2 world records after this injury plus his 1964 Olympic bronze and gold medals at both the 1966 Commonwealth and 1967 Pan American Games. He prematurely died in 1982 of a brain aneurysm. His ability to face extreme challenges and to come back to the top of the world is his greatest legacy.
Will Harry's legacy stimulate the youth of Canada to reach their potential? Can the Jerome story inspire Andre De Grasse to repeat Harry's historical event 52 years ago of standing on the Olympic podium? In some ways, Andre's and Harry's beginning have some similarities. Both these Canadian athletes burst on to the international stage at an early age. Harry tied the world record in the 100m in 1960 at the Canadian Olympic Trials just out of high school. Andre won the 2015 Pan Am Games gold and World Championship bronze medal at the age of 20 years.
Andre has stated that he wants to run both the 100m and 200m at he Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic at Swangard Stadium. De Grasse comes back from Europe with two wins at the Diamond League in Birmingham and Oslo with seasonal bests of 20.16 and 10.07 seconds respectively.
He will face a strong field in the 100m lead by Ryan Bailey of Portland, OR who has run the 100m in 9.88 seconds twice in his career. He achieved this time at the 2012 Olympic Games in London for the United States. He won the gold medal in the 4x100m at the 2015 World Relay Championships in Nassau, Bahamas.
2012 Olympian from the Cayman Islands, Kemar Hyman, a graduate of Florida State University has a best of 9.95 seconds in the 100m. With two other sub 10 second sprinters in the field, Andre De Grasse will have to be a his best to top this field.
2012 Olympian, Dontae Richards-Kwok and bronze medalist at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, with a best o 10.12 seconds will run the Jerome Classic 100m.
Canada took the silver medal at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome, Italy last month. This team lead by Ben Thorne, Inaki Gomez and Evan Dunfee will attempt to break the current Canadian best over 5000m of 18 minutes 45.64 seconds at the Jerome Track Classic. This starts a 6:00pm sharp.
Tickets are $25 finish line, $10 general admission are available on line at www.harryjeorme.com. First event starts at 6pm with doors open at 5pm. Opening ceremonies will be at 7:30pm