Effah, Felicien & Zelinka kick off Canadian Championships in Calgary
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Calgary, Alta. – Sam Effah of Calgary, Alta., Perdita Felicien from Pickering, Ont., and Jessica Zelinka of Calgary, Alta., were all on hand at Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary to officially kick off the 2011 Canadian Track and Field Championships & World Trials. Competition gets underway tomorrow at 12:30 local time at the completely revamped Foothills Athletic Park.
Sam Effah, Canada’s reigning fastest man, will line up in the 100-metre semi-finals set for 6:30pm local time on Thursday. The 2010 Commonwealth Games finalist will be looking to defend his title against a very competitive field including Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont., who recently ran 10.15 and Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I, who holds a seasonal best time of 10.21.
Two-time world champion Perdita Felicien hits the track in the 100-metre hurdle semis Saturday morning at 11:00am local time with the final slated later on Saturday at 3:50pm. Felicien, who recently relocated to Calgary to train under Les Gramantik, is looking for an amazing tenth national title.
Jessica Zelinka is slated for the seven discipline heptathlon which is held over two days. Day one of the heptathlon begins at 1:40pm on Wednesday with the hurdles followed by the high jump, shot put and will close with the 200-metres. The event will resume on Thursday at 5:30pm with the long jump, followed by the javelin and the final event of the gruelling heptathlon is the 800-metres at 8:15pm.
· In the women’s heptathlon hometown star Jessica Zelinka will face a strong up and comer in Coquitlam B.C.’s Ruky Abdulai. Ruky has been on the international track scene in the long jump and will be looking to make her mark at nationals and earn a spot in the heptathlon on the World Championships team which will travel to Korea later this summer.
· The men’s 100-metres is anybody’s race from a strong pool of candidates including Calgary’s Sam Effah, Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., Michael Leblanc of Moncton, N.B., Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont.
· Coming off four medals at the 2011 International Paralympic Committee World Championships, Nanoose Bay, B.C.’s Michelle Stilwell will be competing in the T52 wheelchair classification 100, 200 and 400-metres events.
· In the women’s 100m hurdles Perdita Felicien will try to capture her 10th national title. Edmonton, Alta.’s Angela Whyte and Markham, Ont.’s Phylicia George will be standing in her way; all three have already run sub 13 seconds this season.
· In the men’s shot put Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C. enters as a 6-time Canadian Champion (2005-2010). In the women’s shot put newly minted Canadian record holder Julie Labonté is an athlete on the rise who seems to improve with every outing. Labonté recently won the NCAA Championship and is looking to earn a spot on the national team.
· In the men’s visually impaired 400-metres a strong field of Jon Dunkerley from Ottawa, Ont. and guide runner Sean Young of Ennismore, Ont., Brandon King of Brampton, Ont. and guide David Wilson of Ottawa, Ont., Stuart McGregor of Ottawa, Ont., and Dustin Walsh of Coquitlam, B.C. with guide Steve Walters of Surrey, B.C. will battle it out to the finish line. The men’s visually impaired 400-metres is a can’t miss event.
Championships Live on CBC
Saturday June 25 catch live action from the Canadian Championships coast to coast on CBC beginning at 2:00pm- mountain daylight time (4pm eastern). At the same time the championships will also be streamed on cbcsports.ca.
The Canadian Championships serve as the selection trials for the 2011 World Championships, 2011 Pan American Games, 2011 Parapanamerican Games and 2011 Summer Universiade (FISU).
For the latest news, results, schedule and more visit the Canadian Championships on the web at www.athletics.ca/Calgary2011.
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