EDMONTON (ISN) – The third stop of the 2012 National Track League (NTL) goes Saturday in Edmonton, Atla., with the Donovan Bailey Invitational (DBI).
The DBI features a who’s who of track and field with athletes from 19 countries boasting two Diamond League champions, three 2011 World Champions, three Canadian World Championship medalists, and seven current Canadian record holders.
Star power on tap
The DBI headliner is none other than Yohan Blake of Jamaica. Blake won double gold at the 2011 World Championships and is set to challenge countryman Usain Bolt in the 100 and 200-metres at the upcoming Olympic Games. In the men’s sprint hurdles 2011 World champion Jason Richardson leads the way against a very strong international field. Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., faces off against American Christian Cantwell in the men’s shot put. And last but not lease five Canadian hurdlers with the Olympic A standard will toe the line in the 100-metre hurdles.
NTL Live on FloTrack
FloTrack will provide LIVE streaming coverage of the DBI on Saturday from 2:30 – 4:30 mountain time (4:30 – 6:30pm eastern time). You can also find pre-interviews leading into the meet and post-race interviews at www.flotrack.org/ntl
Edmonton NTL events preview
Complete start lists
Men’s NTL 100m
A sibling rivalry is on tap in the men’s 100-metres with brothers Justyn and Ian Warner. Both enter the DBI sporting the Olympic B standard. NTL standings leaders Anson Henry (14 points) of Pickering, Ont., and Hank Palmer (14 points) of Lasalle, Que., will look to separate themselves from the rest of the field before the series resumes in Moncton on July 5. Oh yeah and Jamaica’s Yohan Blake and Lerone Clark as well as Daniel Bailey of Antigua are also racing. Their personal bests are all sub 10 seconds.
Anson Henry will look to follow up on his Victoria win (above) with a win in Edmonton (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – Island Sports News)
Men’s NTL TIMEX 800m
Thomas Riva of Qualicum Beach, B.C, will have an opportunity to gain ground in the NTL points race as leader Kyle Smith of Scarborough, Ont., is not racing. Smith currently leads the way with 14 points, Andrew Ellerton of Sudbury, Ont., is in second with 11 points and Riva is third with 9 points.
Men’s NTL 1500m
Valuable NTL points are on the line with seven men already in the hunt for the 1500-metres NTL title. Nate Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., is fresh off an impressive win in the series’ second stop at the Victoria International on Wednesday. Brannen is the only Canadian man with the Olympic A standard in the 1500-metres. Current NTL points leader Taylor Milne (10 points) of Guelph, Ont., Matt Lincoln (8 points) of Scarborough, Ont., Geoff Martinson (6 points) of Victoria, B.C., Kyle Boorsma (5 points) of Guelph, Ont., Matt Walters (5 points) of North Bay, Ont., and Peter Corrigan (4 points) of Calgary, Alta., are all in the hunt for the title and Olympic A standard.
Men’s NTL shot put
After two straight wins Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., is the shot put NTL leader with 16 points. Dylan’s main competition at the DBI will come in the form of Americans Christian Cantwell and Ryan Whiting. Armstrong’s personal best of 22.21-metres was the world leading throw last season; Cantwell, the 2009 World champion, enters with a personal best of 22.54-metres while Whiting’s is 21.97-metres.
Dylan Armstrong will go for three straight NTL wins (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – Island Sports News)
Women’s NTL 100mH
The women’s 100-metre hurdles will be a preview of what is sure to be the final at the Canadian Trials with all five of Canada’s world class hurdlers racing. Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Whitby, Ont., will make her 2012 NTL debut against Perdita Felicien (14 points) of Pickering, Ont., Phylicia George (6 points) of Markham, Ont., Nikkita Holder (9 points) of Pickering, Ont., and Angela Whyte (5 points) of Edmonton, Alta.
Perdita Felicien (left) and Phylicia George (right) will battle it out again on Saturday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – Island Sports News)
Women’s NTL 400m
Edmonton native Carline Muir and Jenna Martin of Bridgewater, N.S., make their 2012 NTL debuts with some work to do. Ese Omene of Regina Sask., is already way ahead in the standings with 16 points. However she’s not racing at the DBI providing both women with a great opportunity to make a statement and gain some ground.
Women’s NTL 800m
Diane Cummings (10 points) of Victoria, B.C., Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., and Lemlem Ogbasilassie (5 points) of Montreal, Que., are the featured draw in the women’s NTL 800-metres. At the NTL’s first stop Smith became only the third women in Canadian history to run under the magical mark of two-minutes in the 800-metres. Her time of 1:59.86 was also the Olympic A standard of 1:59.90.
Women’s NTL hammer throw
All four women in the hunt for the NTL title will take to the hammer circle with an opportunity to pass standings leader Heather Steacy who has earned 14 points so far. In second is Megann Rodhe (11 points) of Kamloops, B.C., third is Liz Dubourt (9 points) of Lethbridge, Alta., and in fourth Sultana Frizell (8 points) of Perth, Ont. Frizell did not throw in Victoria while the other three all competed in both the Harry Jerome and Victoria.
Women’s NTL long jump
Multi-athletes Ruky Abdulai of Coquitlam, B.C., Rachel McIntosh of Bridgewater, N.S., and Jessica Zelinka of Calgary, Alta., will compete against 2011 NTL champion Krysha Bayley of Edmonton, Alta. Abdulai currently leads the long jump NTL standings with 16 points after registering victories in both first stops.
Ruky Abdulai looks to continue her success in Edmonton Saturday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – Island Sports News)
Strong fields with international flavour
In the women’s 100-metres look out for Sheri-Ann Brooks of Jamaica who enters with a personal best of 11.05. Her main competition will come from Americans Tianna Madison (11.01) and Brianne Glenn (11.10). Canadian Phylicia George will also race in the women’s 100-metres. She has the A standard in both the 100-metre hurdles and 100-metres.
Jamaica’s Brooks will also race in the women’s 200-metres against top Canadian contenders Adrienne Power of Halifax, N.S., and Crystal Emmanuel of Scarborough, Ont.
2011 World Championship gold medalist Jason Richardson of the United States will be on display in the 110-metre hurdles against four of his very fast countrymen in Ryan Wilson, Jeff Porter, Joel Brown and Dexter Faulk.
Canadians Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., Bryan Barnett of Edmonton, Alta., and Tremaine Harris of Markham, Ont., are in for a good race in the 200-metres with competition coming from Michael Mathieu of the Bahamas, Terrel Cotton and Jordan Boase of the USA, and Ainsley Waugh of Jamaica. Connaughton comes in already having secured his Olympic A standard while Harris sports a B.
Jim Steacy of Lethbridge, Alta., will go head to head with American Kibwé Johnson of the United States in the men’s hammer throw. Steacy, the Canadian record holder, comes in with a personal best of 79.13-metres while Johnson, the 2011 Pan American Games champion, enters with a best mark of 80.31-metres.
The DBI is the last NTL stop before the Canadian Track and Field Trials which take place in Calgary from June 27 to 30. The series will then resume with stops in Moncton on July 5, Halifax July 8 and conclude with the NTL Finale in Toronto July 11. For more information visit www.nationaltrackleague.ca .