London, UK – Athletics begins in a big way tomorrow morning at the 2012 Olympic Games with nine Canadians in action. Leading the way on day one is Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., who has been clear on his intentions; he’s looking for nothing less than a podium finish after narrowly missing doing so at the 2008 Games.
Armstrong enters the Olympic competition ranked seventh in the world. His club teammate Justin Rodhe will compete alongside him in the shot. Shot put qualifying takes place in the morning session while the final is set to go during tomorrow’s evening session.
Brianne Theisen of Humbolt, Sask., and Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., get underway in day one of the two-day seven event heptathlon. Day one sees the pair compete in the 100-metre hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200-metres. Zelinka’s score of 6599 points at the Canadian Trials established a new Canadian record and puts her fourth in the world entering the Olympic competition.
Jim Steacy of Lethbridge, Alta., competes in hammer throw qualifying looking to qualify for Sunday’s final. The Canadian record holder is one of seven Olympic veterans on the 45 athlete team. He finished 10th at the Beijing Games with a performance of 75.72-metres.
Nathan Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., will race in the first round of the 1500-metres. Brannen set his personal best of 3:34.22 earlier this season and has never been healthier or fitter. In Beijing he qualified for the semi-final where he placed 9th and did not advance to the final. He’s aiming to get there this time around.
At the 2008 Olympic Games the Canadian athletics team came away with five top 8 finishes good for a country ranking of 16th overall. Priscilla Lopes-Schliep won bronze in the 100-metre hurdles, Dylan Armstrong and Gary Reed finished fourth in the shot put and 800-metres respectively. Jessica Zelinka was fifth in the heptathlon and the men’s 4×100-metres relay team placed sixth.
For the latest news, schedule and results visit www.london2012.athletics.ca. The web home of the 2012 Canadian Olympic track and field team features a powerful social media hub providing easy access to all tweets from team members.