Sunday, June 16, 2013

Richards-Ross For Edmonton Track Classic

EDMONTON - Olympic double gold medallist Sanya Richards-Ross of the United States is the latest addition to a talent-laden lineup at the Edmonton International Track Classic on June 29. Meet director Peter Ogilvie, who also is executive-director of Athletics Alberta, said Thursday the Jamaican-born Richards-Ross has agreed to compete at Edmonton’s Foote Field in the fourth edition of the meet, which is the second stop on the five-city National Track League. Richards-Ross won gold in the women’s 400 metres and 4x400-metre relay at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, and has been one of the top sprinters in the world for most of the last decade. Her resume includes five world championship gold medals and four Olympic gold medals in a stellar track career for the 28-year-old graduate of the University of Texas. She joins the likes of Jamaican sprint stars Yohan Blake and Veronica Campbell-Brown, U.S. hurdler Jason Richardson, Canadian 100-metre hurdlers Phylicia George and Jessica Zelinka, 400-metre runner Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic and Canadian shot putter Dylan Armstrong on an impressive roster of international stars set to compete here. U.S. half-miler Nick Symmonds, who placed fifth at the London Games, will headline the men’s 800-metre field in Edmonton, one that includes Canadians Geoff Harris and Nate Brannen. In the men’s 200-metre sprint, Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir of Jamaica will be up against American Walter Dix, and Canada’s Jared Connaughton, who anchored Canada’s 4x100-metre relay team that crossed the finish line third in London but was disqualified for a lane violation committed on the final bend by Connaughton. Janay Deloach of the U.S., who won bronze in the long jump at the 2012 Summer Olympics, will lead a strong field in that event in Edmonton. Richards-Ross is rebuilding her race fitness in 2013. Following her double medal performance in London, she had surgery to correct a painful, bone-on-bone problem with her right big toe. What was to be a two-month recovery period extended to seven months, owing to unforeseen complications and post-Olympic appearances and commitments that interfered with Richard-Ross’s rehabilitation. Richards-Ross lack of fitness showed as she finished last in her first race of the season, the 400-metre race at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., on June 1, so the Edmonton meet will be important preparation for her. She needs a top three finish in her specialty at the U.S. Trials in Des Moines, Iowa next weekend to qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Moscow from Aug. 10-18. The EITC falls the weekend after U.S. Trials, so it’s well situated to be a pre-World’s tune-up meet, particularly for athletes based in North America and the Caribbean. Ogilvie also has lined up U.S. quarter-milers Monica Hargrove and Moushaumi Robinson, Kineke Alexander of St. Kitts and Nevis, along with Canadian runners Jenna Martin, Fawn Dorr and Sage Watson, of Medicine Hat, to compete against Richards-Ross. source ottawacitizen