Athletics Canada names star-studded squad for TO2015
Athletics Canada – the nation’s governing body for track and field – named 89 athletes to run, jump, and throw for medals on home soil at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
The list released Sunday includes one of the most exciting young athletes in Canadian sport at the moment, sprinter Andre De Grasse. The 20-year old from Markham, Ontario recently completed the 100-metre, 200-metre double at the NCAA Track and Field Championships for the University of Southern California. De Grasse’s times were wind-aided, though tremendous at 9.75 seconds in the 100m and 19.58 in the 200m. Having recaptured Canada’s imagination in an event two decades ago dominated by the likes of Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin, De Grasse will be out to win Pan Am gold at home in July.
Other top athletes on the list include long jumper Christabel Nettey, who recently won her first IAAF Diamond League meet and has one of the world’s leading leaps this season among women at 6.99 metres.
The world’s second highest pole vault jump of the year belongs to Shawn Barber at 5.91m. He too will be looking to bring Canada a Pan Am gold in his event.
Heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton recently won the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis, the annual crown jewel of the multi-event competitions. Theisen-Eaton will not compete in the heptathlon at TO2015, but the elite athlete – who is an early medal favourite for Rio 2016 – will take part in the long jump and 4 x 400m relay. Her multi-event teammate and world medallist Damian Warner will do the full decathlon.
The full list of competitors nominated to Team Canada for Pan Am Games is available here. The nominations now enter a 10-day review process, after which the full official list will be posted on Olympic.ca.