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Canada’s Longest International Track & Field Event

Provincial guidelines are still in place for travel throughout BC and to no surprise everyone is looking forward to getting back to the open spaces after the long weekend.

Over the past while we have covered the Harry Jerome Track Classic event at Swangard Stadium and one season at the Coquitlam at the Percy Perry Stadium which officially opened in 1991 for the BC Summer Games.

While everyone waits for the return no one wants the return more than the athletes who have been training at various centres to keep their skills up to the standard required to achieve Gold.

We recently received the following from Doug Clement is ever so dedicated to keep the memory of Harry Jerome alive for the youth of today

Enjoy the read:

The Achilles Track and Field Society has organized athletics competitions since September 19, 1964 when Harry Jerome won the Gold medal at the International Olympic Preview at Empire Stadium as the Canadian team departed for the Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Harry Jerome made history by winning a Bronze medal in the 100m and became the six (6) time world record holder in the sprints but sadly passed away prematurely in 1982.  

The Achilles Society created the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic and will hold the 37th version of Canada’s longest standing international track and field event. 

In an effort to reduce the risks, the event will be held at 3 locations, 

Swangard Stadium, in Burnaby, the Rashpal Dhillon Track at University of BC, Hillside Stadium in Kamloops.

The Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 event and will drastically limit the 2021 version set for June 12, 2021. 

Canadian track and field athletes have faced disruption of training, travel and access to competition needed to attain the very tough Olympic standards required to qualify by World Athletics. 

Covid-19 creates an inability to know what is coming next and the deadline to organize the event is looming.

Achilles Director and meet director, Nigel Hole is awaiting the potential revision of British Columbia Public Health Regulations on May 25. 

Loosening of travel restriction to allow travel between the interior and the island with the lower mainland would be ideal.  

This would allow British Columbians to finally meet requirements for selection to representative teams that may be allowed to meet at a national or international level this summer

The Olympic Trials set for Montreal on June 23-27, will be followed by the closure of the qualifying window on June 30.  

Photo Credit (Frank Gunn/CP)

Athletics Canada will nominate Canada’s Olympic team members to the Canadian Olympic Committee for ratification to travel to the Tokyo Olympics which start July 23.

Over 3 dozen Canadian athletes to date have met the demands of the complex selection process to be nominated by Athletics Canada.  

This list is an approximation and not comprehensive, as selection recommendations will impact the final list.

Men: 14

Andre De Grasse, Damian Warner, Aaron Brown, Brandon McBride, Pierce Lepage, Mohammed Ahmed, Marco Arop, Justyn Knight, Tim Nedow, Matthew Hughes, Evan Dunfee, Trevor Hofbauer, Ben Preisner, Tristan Woodfine

Women: 23

Gabriela Debues-Stafford, Alysha Newman, Sage Watson, Brittany Crew, Crystal Emmanuel, Genevieve Lalonde, Julie Anne Staehli, Andrea Seccafien, Melissa Bishop-Nriagu, Natasha Wodak, Malindi Elmore, Kyra Constantine, Sarah Mitton, Rachel Cliff, Natalia Hawthorn, Anicka Newell, Dayna Pidhoresky, Camryn Rogers, Lyndsey Tessier, 4×4 (100m) relay-5 athletes

Each event for athletics in Tokyo has a set quota or maximum for entry.

If athletes with the Olympic standards do not complete the quota, the remaining spots are filled using World Rankings as of June 30, 2021.  

Currently several Canadian athletes sit in this bubble of uncertainty.  

They may rank with in the quota now but will be subject to athletes from around the world seeking to move their own ranking up.  

Hence every result counts until the end of June. 

World Athletics updates are at https://www.worldathletics.org/stats-zone/road-to/7132391

Men: 12 Rank/Quota

Mike Mason 15/32, Kieran Lumb 21/42, Gavin Smellie 47/56, Brendon Rodney 28/56, Jerome Blake 32/56, Bismark Boateng 54/56, John Gay 41/45,  Matt Bilodeau 57/60, 4x100m relay-5 athletes 13/16, 4×400 mixed 15/16- 3 athletes  

Women: 12 Rank/Quota

Lindsey Butterworth 28/48, Liz Gleadle 16/32, Aiyanna Stiverne 46/48, Lucia Stafford 31/45, Christabel Nettey 32/32, Jessica O’Connell 36/42, Regan Yee 39/45, Mariah Kelly 39/45, Madeleine Kelly 46/48, 4×4 100m mixed 15/16- 3 athletes