BY BRIAN POUND
BURNABY—The second-ranked 200-metre sprinter in the world has confirmed he will compete at the 36th annual Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic, Thursday, June 20, at Swangard Stadium.
Toronto’s Aaron Brown, who on Thursday beat a field that consisted of the four top IAAF ranked 200-metre men in the world at the Stockholm Diamond League, will run the 100-metre event at the Jerome. In defeating the world number one-ranked Ramil Guliyev of Turkey in Stockholm, Brown recorded his fastest time of the season, 20.06, just 0.08 off his personal best. Guliyev finished second, well beaten in 20.40.
“I know I’m one of the best starters in the world in the 200-metres because of my 100-metre background,” Brown said following the race. “The guys in this field are really strong at the end so I made sure I put some distance on them at the beginning and then tried to hang on. That was the game plan and it worked.”
Brown is no stranger to the Jerome meet, last year winning the 100-metres in the China-Canada Challenge event in 10.21 seconds. His fastest 100-metres, 9.96 seconds, came in 2016 in Montverde, Florida.
Achilles International Track Society President Doug Clement is elated that Brown will be attending the Jerome meet.
“Aaron is now Canada’s fastest man with an amazing start to the 2019 season,” he said. “He has won the last two Diamond League events and is amongst the world elite sprinters who have run under 10 seconds in the 100-metres and under 20 seconds in the 200-metres.”
The Stockholm win was the second straight 200 Diamond League win for Brown, having previously won in Shanghai two weeks earlier in 20.07 seconds, defeating fellow Canadian Andre De Grasse, second in 20.21. De Grasse plans to spend the summer training and competing in Europe, returning to Canada in late July for the national championships.
Brown, 27, finished third overall last year in Diamond League 200-metre standings and is well on his way to improving on that this year, although it is still early in the season.
A member of Canada’s bronze medal-winning 4x100-metre relay teams at the Rio Olympics and 2013 and 2015 world championships, Brown said following his Stockholm race he was going to talk to his coach and agent to see if he will continue along the Diamond League trail or return home for further training prior to the Jerome meet. His big goal this year, of course, is the world athletics championships in Doha, Qatar, September 26-October 6, where he began his outdoor season this year finishing third in the Diamond League 200m.
Brown has a hobby of collecting mascot dolls at meets he competes at. There is no such mascot available at the Jerome meet so he will probably be satisfied with a gold medal.
Tickets for the Jerome meet are available at www.harryjerome.com/tickets.
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