Big Weekend for Lions Athletes

With athletes set to compete on two continents and two provinces, today will be a busy day for the Ottawa Lions family. Kicking the day off is Rachael Burrows, who is set to compete in the Sainsbury’s IPC Grand Prix Final in Birmingham, England. Burrows, fresh off a successful weekend at last week’s Canadian Championships where she defended her T34 100m and 200m titles, will be contesting the 200m as she puts the final touches on her preparation for next month’s IPC World Championships. Lining up beside Rachael will be all three medalists from last year’s Paralympics Games, including British national Hannah Cockroft, last year’s gold medalist. The race goes off at 12:03 pm EST.

Also in attendance in Birmingham will be fellow wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy who will be competing in one of his marquee events, the T54 1500m. Cassidy, who lost his Canadian 1500m title last weekend by the slimmest of margins will be looking to rebound against a quality international field that includes 2012 Paralympic gold medalist David Weird of Great Britain. Josh will be racing at 1:15 pm EST and results from him and Rachael will be available here.

In another grand prix event, hammer thrower Sultana Frizell, 800m runner Melissa Bishop and 100m hurdler Ashlea Maddex will be taking part in the third stop of the 2013 National Track League, the Edmonton International Track Classic. Frizell, who captured her third Canadian championship last Sunday will be up against a strong field Saturday afternoon that includes Olympic finalist Kathrin Klass of Germany and newly minted United States champion Amanda Bingson, who broke Frizell’s North American record of 75.04m last weekend in her victory. On the track in Edmonton, Melissa Bishop will be looking to repeat her victorious performance from the Toronto stop with the hopes of moving one step closer to the NTL overall title and the $4500 that goes with it. Saturday’s 800m field includes a virtually identical field to last week’s national championship final as well as American veteran, Maggie Vessey.

Maddex, who narrowly missed a bronze last weekend in Moncton will be in tough against a quality international field including Olympic finalists Lolo Jones, Jessica Zelinka and Angela Whyte. You can watch Frizell (12:50 pm EST), Bishop (2:35 pm EST) and Maddex (3:00 pm EST) compete live online on Flotrack.

Rounding out the list of weekend competitors are 14 Lions who have headed south to Windsor to compete for a spot on Team Ontario for August’s Canada Summer Games taking place in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Among the top contenders to earn a spot on the provincial team, based on rankings, are 100m hurdler Devyani Biswal, 200m/400m runner Devin Biocchi, 800m runner Mohamed Souleiman, 1500m runner Alex Behre, pole vaulter Zach Kerr and shot putter Ashley Connell. To be guaranteed a provincial team spot, athletes will have win their event at the trials. Live results from Windsor can be found here with competition continuing through Sunday.