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May 15, 2014, Edmonton (ISN) – Three of the biggest stars in track and field today will compete in the Edmonton International Track Classic (EITC) on July 6 in Edmonton.

American 100m sprinter Justin Gatlin, Canadian high jumper Derek Drouin and Olympic gold medalist

Francena McCorory of the US, and will compete in their signature events at the track classic at the University of Alberta’s Foote Field.

Gatlin, who’s now 32, has been tearing up the circuit this season. Last weekend he ran 10.02 seconds into a wind as he won an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) event in Tokyo and two weeks ago he won the 100m event at the Jamaica International Invitational. Gatlin says, “I am really excited to come to Edmonton and race my first race in Canada.

I have heard nothing but great things about the meet and feel ready to do something special this year at the EITC.” Gatlin won the silver medal at last summer’s world championship in Moscow and also defeated Usian Bolt in Rome. Gatlin took home the bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012, recording a personal best of 9.79 seconds. Even though he won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics ten years ago, he’s out to break the American record for the 100m this year. 

Derek Drouin, of Corunna, Ontario is one of the best high jumpers on the planet. He took home a bronze medal at the London Olympics and in April set a Canadian record in the high jump when he cleared 2.40-metres. He joined a select field, as only five people have ever jumped higher. Last week he finished second in the Doha Diamond League meet with a jump of 2.37-metres.

Drouin says, “It’s important for me to compete in Canada, but that isn’t always a possibility because the majority of major summer meets are in Europe. I’m excited about the opportunity to jump in front of a Canadian crowd, while still competing in a world class track meet.” Drouin was also named Athletics Canada’s top athlete for 2013.

McCorory is one of the hottest names in the sport and is the reigning IAAF 400m indoor world champion. The 25-year old won a gold medal in the 4 X 400m relay at the London Olympics. McCorory says, “I am really excited to be competing in Edmonton. This will be my first competition there, so I look forward to performing my best for all in the stadium.”

EITC Meet Director Peter Ogilvie says, “This is one of the biggest announcements made in the history of the Edmonton International Track Classic. With these stars and Jamaican Warren Weir, who we announced last week, there’s no question in my mind that we will have bigger stars than last year’s meet and I never thought I would be saying that. With these great athletes and more to come, the EITC will live up to its international reputation of being TrackTown Canada.”

The Edmonton International Track Classic is the best annual track and field event in Canada and is ranked in the top 3% of all athletics competitions worldwide. This year, on the day before the July 6 event, qualification competitions will be held in a number of events at Foote Field. The top finishers will get the opportunity to compete in the track classic the following afternoon. Registrations are now open for athletes who want to participate in the open event on July 5.

Tickets are now on sale for the event and more information is available at the new Edmonton International Track Classic website, which is also being launched this morning. 

 

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