© Copyright – 2016 Athletics Illustrated

Photo credit: Harry Jerome Track Classic
Liz Gleadle – Photo credit: Harry Jerome Track Classic

“The 2016 Vancovuer Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic seems to have Olympic fever on the Road to Rio.”

-Race Director Doug Clement.

The 2016 Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic, the first track meet of the 2016 National Track League, will be showcasing some of Canada’s and North America’s Rio Olympic hopefuls and will be an exciting, pre-Olympic trials event for spectators.

The meet takes place Friday, June 17th, just three weeks before the Rio Olympic trials that will be taking place in Edmonton – a last chance opportunity for many of Canada’s athletes to qualify for the 31st Olympic Games.

When asked about the quality of the field taking shape meet Director Doug Clement said, “The number of world class athletes that are lining up for June 17th is outstanding; it is hard to focus on any one event, as so many competitions will be great.”

Melissa Bishop – photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Canada’s record holder in the 800-metre distance is Eganville, Ontario’s Melissa Bishop. She won a silver medal at the 2015 IAAF World Track and Field Championships that were held in Beijing. She is just one of five Canadian women all-time to break the two-minute barrier and owns a fantastic personal best of 1:57.52. American Brenda Martinez will challenge Bishop, her personal best is nearly as fast at 1:57.91 and she is a world’s bronze medallist from 2013.

Andre De Grasse of Markham is a 21 year-old Canadian sprint sensation, he will toe-the-line at Swangard. He won double gold medals in the 100m and 200m at the Pan American Games in Toronto and a bronze medal in the 100m in the Beijing world Championships. He also doubled in the NCAA championships in the 100 and 200m.

Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ontario is Canada’s record holder in the high jump. He is an Olympic bronze medallist from the 2012 London Games and an IAAF Beijing World Championships gold medallist. His personal best is a stunning 2.40-metres.

American Boris Berian just won the Prefontaine Classic 800-metre last Saturday with a finish time of 1:44.20.  This is only the third time an American has won a Diamond League at that distance. De Grasse has been awarded a contract valued at over 11-million dollar with Puma.

Vancouver’s Liz Gleadle is the Pan American Games gold medallist in the Javelin throw. She has competed in the Olympics and world championships and looks to improve on her London Olympic final placing of 12th.

Her personal best is a very strong 64.83-metres.

After Jerome, the athletes will be seeking to continue their season with NTL events that take place in Victoria, Halifax, Edmonton and Guelph as well as the Rio Olympic trials that are taking place in Edmonton, dubbed TrackTown Canada.