Athletics Canada’s (AC) 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games qualifying standards have been released. The standards are tough and as standards alone appear nearly unreachable. However, AC’s plan is to fill 31 spots for the team competing this summer. The good news is the published criteria contain more than performance standards alone.

Athlete performances will be measured as a percentage against these standards. The percentage will then be ranked across all able-bodied disciplines and the team will be filled from the top of this list down, to a maximum of three per event.

In the document named “Athletics Canada Selection Criteria 2022 Commonwealth Games,” AC outlines the Team Objectives in their Strategic Plan 2028.

“The selection process is aligned with the strategic plan. The purpose is to prioritize the selection of athletes who demonstrate an ability to contribute to the following performance targets at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, presented in priority order:

  • i. Total number of medals;
  • ii. Total number of top 8 finishes
  • iii. Total number of athletes finishing in the top half of their field;
  • iv. Total number of athletes beating their pre-event ranking;
  • v. Total number of athletes setting personal bests; and
  • vi. Total number of athletes setting season’s bests.”

The maximum number of able-bodied athletes that Canada plans to send is subject to change. There is, however, no limit to the number of para-athletes selected.

Eligible athletes will be placed on the AC ranking list based on being a “qualified athlete” and meeting one or more of the eligible performances (see criteria link).

The ranking list is available on AC’s website, as is the entire Athletics Canada Selection Criteria 2022 Commonwealth Games document.

Here is where the devil is in the details, “eligible athletes and relay teams will be given an overall ranking based on their proximity to the AC Entry Standard (image above, “Appendix A”). This is calculated as a percentage of World Athletics Points.”

World Athletics uses a points performance rating system that applies a numerical ranking based on the level of that performance. See the four-digit number in parentheses next to the qualifying standard in the document above “Appendix A.”

If interested, one may search an athlete’s name at the World Athletics website and view their profile. In that profile, personal bests are listed (not up to date, 100 per cent of the time), with the points ranking beside each athlete’s performance. For example, marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge has run the marathon in the time of 2:01:39, his performance rating is 1303.

The AC Entry Standards are calculated using the average top-3 performance among Commonwealth nations over the 2018, 2019, and 2021 seasons. The 2020 season is excluded due to disruptions in the race calendar and international travel resitrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Keep in mind that although the Commonwealth Games are more of an international “stepping stone” for athletes to aspire toward the Worlds and Olympic Games, good old Great Britain did once occupy Kenya and Jamaica. Therefore the powerhouse middle and long-distance nation of Kenya and sprint powerhouse Jamaica have their performances included in those years.

Athletes will be selected in order of their “Overall Ranking” until the Maximum Team Size Quota is filled.