2016 TRACKTOWN CLASSIC DELIVERS SPARKLING OLYMPIC PREVIEW IN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S SPRINTS, HURDLES AND WOMEN’S LONG JUMP AS THE ROAD TO RIO ROLLS THROUGH U OF A’S FOOTE FIELD ON FRIDAY NIGHT
Marquee sprinter Andre De Grasse and IAAF World Championships silver medal-winning 800-metre runner Melissa Bishop headline a stellar lineup of Canadian and international athletes at the TrackTown Classic on Friday night at the University of Alberta’s Foote Field.
With the Canadian Track and Field Championships and Selection Trials for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games Olympic just completed in Edmonton to standing-room only crowds, the 2016 TrackTown Classic lineup is freighted with quality athletes from Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.
Most of the elite competitors are looking to fine-tune their form for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.
Canada’s female sprint hurdlers will be front and centre, with the entire podium from the Olympic Trials – Phylicia George, Nikkita Holder and Edmonton’s ageless Angela Whyte – confirmed for Friday night’s meet. They will face a pack of top U.S. hurdlers, led by Dawn Harper-Nelson, who won hurdles gold at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, and silver at the 2012 London Olympics.
The men’s 200 metres showcases Brendon Rodney, who won that event at the Canadian trials in a personal best time of 19.96 seconds, upsetting De Grasse in the process. Andre De Grasse, who ran a best time of 19.88 in winning the 2015 Pan Am Games last season will battle Rodney along with with U.S. veteran Wallace Spearmon, the silver medallist at the 2005 IAAF World Championships, amongst others.
Akeem Hayne, the 100-metre bronze medallist at the Canadian Olympic Trials, will face off in a rematch with Ramon Gittens of Barbados, who won silver behind Andre De Grasse at the 2015 Pan American Games 100 metre final in Toronto.
Other compelling showdowns at the TrackTown Classic include:
- The women’s 200 metres featuring Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas. Currently ranked #1 in the World for 400m, Miller won silver in the women’s 400 metres at the 2015 IAAF World’s in Beijing. She’s looking to run a sub-22-second 200-metre race in Edmonton.
- Canadian long jumper Christabel Nettey going head-to-head with American talent Whitney Gipson.
- Bishop, in superb 2016 Canadian championship form form as she pursues an Olympic medal, racing experienced international competitor Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica in the 800 metres.
- Americans Duane Solomon, a 2012 Olympian, and Clayton Murphy, who won gold in the 800 metres at the 2015 Pan American Games, headline the men’s 800-metres.
Tickets are available through the TrackTown Classic website: www.tracktowncan.com, or via the TrackTown Canada mobile app. See the website also for the complete race schedule and roster of competitors. The fast-paced meet goes from 5:40 to 8:25 p.m. on Friday, 15 July.