World 100m Champion Yohan Blake Headlines NTL’s Donovan Bailey Invitational

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EDMONTON (ISN) 
– Jamaican Yohan Blake, the youngest 100-metres World Champion in history, has confirmed his participation at the Donovan Bailey Invitational on June 16 at Foote Field in Edmonton.

Blake, who set a personal best of 9.82 seconds over 100-metres last year, shocking the sporting world, will headline the Men’s 100-metres event. The Donovan Bailey Invitational serves as the National Track League’s (NTL) third of six stops in 2012. The NTL will also make stops in Vancouver (June 10), Victoria (June 13), Moncton (July 5), Halifax (July 8), and Toronto (July 11).

“I’m very excited to come to Edmonton and race. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the city and am looking forward to experiencing Canada for my first time” Blake said.

In 2011, Blake ran more races under 10 seconds than any other sprinter on the planet. He also ended his season in extraordinary fashion by securing the fastest 200-metres time in the world–and second fastest in history–at 19.26 seconds.

Donovan Bailey, Invitational Ambassador, Canadian Olympic Hall of Famer and Canadian Olympic 100-metres Champion commented, “It’s with great pleasure that we welcome Yohan to the Donovan Bailey Invitational. By bringing in the best talents, building a strong partnership with the City of Edmonton and developing the business and entertainment value of track and field, we are setting the stage to be the premier international track meet in North America. We are honoured to have Yohan as our first headliner.”

“We’re thrilled to have an athlete of Yohan’s caliber compete in Edmonton, and we’re hoping he will eclipse the 10 second barrier here” said Peter Ogilvie, Meet Director and Executive Director of Athletics Alberta. “It’s a feat that hasn’t been achieved in Canada since the 2001 World Championships, which were held here in Edmonton.”

Blake, along with many other World Champions and Olympic hopefuls, will meet at Foote Field Stadium on June 16 for the third of six stops in the 2012 National Track League series. The Donovan Bailey Invitational (formerly called the Edmonton International Track Classic), gives athletes an opportunity to meet Olympic standard times prior to their nationals and Olympic trials a few weeks later.

For Canadians, the Donovan Bailey Invitational is an opportunity to witness and support Canadian athletes in their quest for Olympic Gold in the London 2012 Olympics, which run July 27 to August 12, 2012. The Donovan Bailey Invitational is part of the new Edmonton International Athletics Festival.

Athletics Alberta is the provincial organizing body for track and field, cross country and road running, and is a branch of Athletics Canada. Athletics Alberta has 2,000 members and offers programs for 75,000 non-affiliated members. Athletics is a dynamic sport for all ages and abilities. Through various programs and activities, Athletics Alberta brings the joy and benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle to Albertans.

For more information on the Donovan Bailey Invitational and the National Track League visit: www.nationaltrackleague.com.  

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