Edmonton-area track and field athletes get a shot at Olympic and Paralympic spots
The 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Track and Field Trials run from June 24-27 in Montreal
Seven Edmonton-area track and field athletes will get a shot at qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this week in Montreal.
The trials, which start Thursday, will include both Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls with the winners of each event receiving an automatic Olympic spot if they achieve the standard result.
The Olympics begin July 23 and Paralympics on August 24.
Edmonton's Malachi Murray has had a good start to the track and field season.
The 21-year-old aspiring Olympian has run some personal best times over the past couple of months, including at the River City Inferno Track and Field Festival in Guelph, Ont., which earned him a last minute invite to the trials and a shot to make the Canadian 4x100m relay team.
"I'm feeling great. This is honestly an unexpected opportunity. I thought the invitations were closed, but I literally ran in Guelph last Wednesday, got a last minute invitation and I had to accept it that night," said Murray, a member of the Capital City Track Club.
"It's honestly unexpected, but I'm super grateful for the opportunity."
It is Murray's first invite to an Olympic trial and he will be competing alongside pro and collegiate Canadian athletes. He said he is motivated by his mother to perform well at the trials.
"I want to be able to provide for her one day and if I were to be able to provide for her while accomplishing my goals and dreams, that would be one hundred percent ideal," he said.
Amanda Rummery, a Para-athlete specializing in the 400m race, will be competing against Canadian Olympic hopefuls at the trials this weekend.
She recently broke a Canadian 400m record in Toronto with a time of 60.26 seconds, but needs to cut about a second off that to qualify. She has until July 19 to get a spot on the team.
"I'm going to be competing against some really fast able-bodied girls, but I'm excited to see what I can do," Rummery said. "It'll be hot, hopefully not a lot of wind, and it should be a recipe for success."
Rummery, 23, has only been training as a track and field athlete for four years after her arm was amputated due to an injury suffered in an ATV injury. She spent most the winter in Victoria training to earn a shot to get to Tokyo.
"We're only bringing five female Para-athletes across the whole track and field sport, the smallest team in quite some time. It's going to be hard to make, but hopefully I can do it," she said.
Representing Edmonton this weekend
Marco Arop immigrated to Canada with his family from Sudan when he was young. The 800m runner previously was a member of Mississippi State University before going pro in late 2019. Last year he had some strong races beating multiple top-six runners.
Hurdler Angela Whyte is chasing her fourth Olympic Games appearance this weekend in the 100m hurdles event. The 41-year-old's first Games was in 2004, and is known as one of the top Canadian hurdlers of all-time.
Christie Moerman is also competing in 100m hurdles, and is chasing her first Olympics appearance. Moerman spent the pandemic in Edmonton with some of her best training, despite public health restrictions.
Austin Cole, a former Sherwood Park hockey player, will be racing with his 4x400m relay team for a ticket to Tokyo. He set Usports records as a member of the University of Alberta team and has medalled at the World Relay Championships.
Ben Williams was born in Jamaica before moving to Edmonton as a teenager. He's a member of Athletics Canada's 4x100 relay pool and will be pursuing a spot on Canada's Olympic team.