Athletics Canada announced today that Kim Cousins of Calgary and Rick Reelie of Saskatoon will serve as Co-Head Coaches at the 2017 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Para Athletics Championships. Ottawa’s Glenroy Gilbert has been named Head Coach of the team that will compete at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships.
Both the IPC and IAAF World Championships will take place in London, England, with the IPC Worlds up first July 14-23, followed by the IAAF Worlds Aug. 4-13.
“Heading into the Rio Paralympic Games, our goal was to move up in both medal count and overall country ranking, which was accomplished,” said IPC Worlds Co-Head Coach Rick Reelie. “It was a solid move in the right direction and we want to continue building off that.”
Kim Cousins, IPC Worlds Co-Head Coach, adds “I’m confident we will field a strong team. We have a good mix of veterans and up and coming athletes eager to make their mark on the international stage.”
“We have an experienced staff who understand the demands of high performance, and of athletes who are focused on continuing to deliver performance on demand at the highest level,” said IAAF Worlds Head Coach Glenroy Gilbert. “We have great momentum coming off our best Olympic Games in modern history, the focus continues to be high performance, driven by results.”
The IAAF World Championships team will be able to take advantage of two preparation camps. A main camp will be held July 23 to Aug. 1 in Guadalajara, Spain. An endurance focused camp will take place in St. Moritz, Switzerland, July 18 to Aug. 1.
Athletics Canada is in the final stages of hiring for the position of Chief Technical Officer. Once the Chief Technical Officer is in place, a permanent Head Coach will be hired.
In 2015 at the last IPC World Championships, Canada won 11 medals, including four gold. Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., and Guillaume Ouellet of Victoriaville, Que., will look to defend their world titles in London. Lakatos enters as the reigning World Champion in the T53 wheelchair 100-metres, 200-metres and 800-metres, while Ouellet is the current World Champion in the T13 5000-metres.
At the last IAAF World Championships, also held in 2015, Canada recorded its best medal haul pulling in a total of eight podiums to place seventh on the IAAF medal table. Shawn Barber of Toronto and Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., both won World Championships in the pole vault and high jump, respectively.
The selection trials for the IAAF World Championships team are in Ottawa in early July.