Ottawa – Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic stars, including Andre De Grasse, Melissa Bishop, Damian Warner, Derek Drouin, Alister McQueen and Brent Lakatos, will descend on Ottawa July 3-9 for the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships. The championships take place at Terry Fox Athletic Facility as part of Canada’s 150th celebrations.
“It has been awhile since Ottawa has hosted the national championships,” said Canadian 800-metres record holder Melissa Bishop. “I was actually a junior helping the Ottawa Lions with the meet the last time it was in Ottawa. To have it in the nation’s capital for Canada’s 150th is special.”
“It will be exciting that so many of my supporters will be able to see my race in person, and be able to witness so much more of the talent from our Canadian athletes,” added Bishop. “In addition to my family and friends, I suspect I’ll have a lot of fans from Eganville and the Ottawa Valley [in the stands] as well.”
With a number of local track and field stars, including several Rio Olympians and Paralympians, competition will be fierce for the honour of earning the title of Canadian champion, in addition to a place on the national team for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, England.
“Fans should know that the World Championships are in August following [Nationals],” said Sekou Kaba who competes in the 110-metre hurdles. “With only three spots available (per event) for team selection, who wouldn’t want to witness Olympians and rising stars compete for the privilege to represent Canada in London. The event is sure to be action-packed with world-class performances, Cinderella moments, and of course, fun and entertainment to keep the crowd on their toes.”
“To win a Canadian title in front of a hometown crowd will be a massive accomplishment for me,” said Larissa Brown, a local para-athlete who’s looking to secure her sport on the national team competing at the IPC World Championships in the 100-metres, 200-metres and long jump. “Last year, I was nipped out of a gold medal in the 100-metres at the finish line, and I plan to remedy this situation [in Ottawa].”
The championships begin with free admission for all guests July 3-5 for the NACAC Combined Events Championships / Pan Am Cup, Canadian Combined Events Championships and the Boiling Point USA vs. Canada Para Challenge.
Tickets are on sale now at www.ottawa2017.eventbrite.ca and start as low as $15 per day July 6-9 (children 12 years of age and under are free for the duration of the Championships). Spectators can also purchase a Championships Pass for only $50 that will give them access to all events taking place July 6-9 at Terry Fox Athletic Facility.
“We have such a strong team right now, and it’s not every day you get to see Olympic/Paralympic champions and medallists compete right in front of you,” said Olympic shot putter Tim Nedow. “When people see how high Derek Drouin is jumping, or just how fast Andre De Grasse runs the 100-meters… it’s amazing. You have to witness it in person to really understand how impressive these guys and other athletes are.”
“For me, the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto were the first time my friends and family were able to watch me compete at a world-class level,” added Nedow. “It was an awesome experience and my family will definitely be there in the stands. I hope my brother (18-year-old Thomas) will hit the standard and join me in the competition.”
Fans looking for an exciting and rewarding way to be involved in Canada’s premier track and field event are encouraged to sign-up to become a volunteer. With positions in event registration, guest services, event support and more, there is a spot for everyone who wants to be part of the event.
For more information on the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships, including schedule of events, volunteer application form, ticket information and accommodations, visit www.athletics.ca/ottawa2017.
Members of the media looking to cover the championships are asked to fill-out the media accreditation request form located on the championships webpage.