Athletics Canada, the national governing body for track and field, cross country, road running and road racing, nominated a contingent of 50 athletes to Commonwealth Games Canada. The 2014 Commonwealth Games take place in Glasgow, Scotland July 23 to August 3 and will be the largest ever multi-sport event held on Scottish soil. Athletics competition at the Commonwealth Games will take place at Hampden Park Stadium July 27 through August 2.
Headlining Athletics Canada’s nominations is 2012 Olympic and 2013 World Championship high jump bronze medallist Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont. This season Derek improved the Canadian record when he surpassed the 2.40-metres mark, one of only ten in history to have cleared that magical barrier. Two-time World Championship heptathlon silver medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., is looking to add a Commonwealth Games title to her already impressive resume. Damian Warner of London, Ont., is another one to keep a close eye on; he won bronze in the decathlon at the 2013 World Championships.
Head Coach Peter Eriksson on the squad, “I am very proud of the team selected. Our team objective is to surpass the results from the 2010 edition of the Games where we won 17 medals (7 gold, 2 silver and 8 bronze). In 2010, 84 percent of the team finished in the top eight. The team is a healthy mix of young blood and experienced athletes, they are focused on what it will take to get the job done.”
“I am very excited to see the athletics team compete in Glasgow, the sport that brought me so many memories throughout the years”, comments Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de mission for Team Canada. “As an athlete, the Commonwealth Games were one of my favourite competitions and I am looking forward to new memories supporting athletes from the other side of the track.” Chantal herself is a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the T54 800-metres from the 2002 and 2006 Games.
The team nominees includes seven medallists from past Commonwealth Games; Josh Cassidy, Sultana Frizell, Carline Muir, Diane Roy, James Steacy, Angela Whyte, and Jessica Zelinka.
Cycling Canada and Commonwealth Games Canada have also confirmed the sixteen cyclists who will compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Cycling Canada has selected a mix of established performers and young up-and-comers with the potential to win as many as 10 medals in track, mountain bike and road events.
These Games also mark the international debut of Canada’s new men’s team pursuit and team sprint programs, which are expected to vie for places in their medal finals and will form the foundation for future Olympic and world championship success.
“These Games are a huge opportunity for us to bring these new track programs to the next level,” said Cycling Canada High Performance Director Jacques Landry. “We have done a careful performance analysis of our athletes and are confident they will be competitive in Glasgow, and this will help us hit the ground running when we move into the new Pan American Games Velodrome in Milton, ON, later this year. We expect the track team events to be the breeding ground for our future medal contenders and, thanks to the support of Commonwealth Games Canada and Own the Podium, we have the tools in place to make that a reality.
“At the same time, we are travelling to Glasgow with seven Olympic, World Championship and World Cup medallists. We have high hopes for these Games, and the future looks bright for Canadian cycling in general.”
“Cycling has been a Commonwealth Games sport since the inaugural edition of the event’s precursor, the 1930 British Empire Games”, said Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de Mission of the Canadian Team in Glasgow. “This sport has a huge tradition both at the Commonwealth Games and within the Canadian sport community. With the cycling team being one of our larger sports at the Glasgow Games, I am sure we will be treated to many exciting moments on the track, road and trails.”
A team of 265 athletes and close to 100 coaches and support staff will be in Glasgow, Canada’s largest Team ever fielded for a non-home Games. The entire Canadian Team, as well as the team’s flag bearer, will be officially announced by Commonwealth Games Canada in July 2014.