Armstrong, Zelinka top Commonwealth athletics team
National shot put champion Dylan Armstrong and heptathlon champ Jessica Zelinka headline the list of 40 Canadian track and field athletes who will compete at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October.
Hurdler Angela Whyte of Edmonton, a silver medallist at the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, and wheelchair racer Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., a bronze medallist in Melbourne, were also on the roster released Wednesday by Athletics Canada.
Armstrong, from Kamloops, B.C., won gold at the Canadian championships last week in Toronto. The top-ranked shot putter in the Commonwealth, Armstrong finished fourth at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, missing the bronze medal by one centimetre. He also competed for Canada at the 2009 track and field world championships in Berlin.
Zelinka captured her fifth Canadian championship in Toronto. The London, Ont., native finished fifth at the 2008 Olympics.
Freshly crowned Canadian 100-metre champion Sam Effah of Calgary and 200-metre champ Jared Connaughton were also named to the 2010 Commonwealth Games team. In addition to their individual events, they'll race together on the 100-metre relay team in New Delhi.
Many of Canada's top track and field athletes asked to be left off the squad. Hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, who won a bronze at the 2008 Olympics and a silver at the 2009 worlds, has concerns about security and pollution in New Delhi, India's populous capital city.
Perdita Felicien, who beat Lopes-Schliep in the final of the women's 100-metre hurdles in Toronto to capture her ninth national title, is also skipping the Commonwealth Games. Same for Gary Reed, a silver medallist in the 800 metres at the 2007 worlds, and top 10,000-metre runners Simon Bairu, Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet.
With so many elite competitors missing, the Commonwealth Games offer a chance for lesser-known athletes to make an impression.
"We are using the Commonwealth Games as an important benchmark for those athletes pursuing selection for the  London Olympic Games," Canadian head coach Alex Gardiner said in a statement.
"Results in Delhi will have a direct bearing on who we provide additional support for in the next two years leading to 2012."
The full Canadian roster:
- Jamie Adjetey-Nelson (Windsor, Ont.): Decathlon.
- Dylan Armstrong (Kamloops, B.C.): Shot put.
- Bryan Barnett (Edmonton): 200m, 4x100 m.
- Josh Cassidy (Guelph, Ont.): T54 1500 m.
- Jean-Paul Compaore (Sherbrooke, Que.): T54 1500 m.
- Jared Connaughton (New Haven, P.E.I.): 100 m, 200 m, 4x100 m.
- Evan Dunfee (Richmond, B.C.): 20-km racewalk.
- Sam Effah (Calgary): 100m, 4x100 m.
- Inaki Gomez (Vancouver): 20-km racewalk.
- Michael LeBlanc (Riverview, N.B.): 4x100 m.
- Michael Mason (Nanoose Bay, B.C.): High jump.
- Taylor Milne (Guelph, Ont.): 1500 m.
- Hank Palmer (Lasalle, Que.): 4x100 m.
- Kyle Pettey (Brampton, Ont.): F34 shot put.
- Oluseyi Smith (Ottawa): 4x100 m.
- Jason Wurster (Toronto): Pole vault.
- Ruky Abdulai (Coquitlam, B.C.): Long jump, 4x400 m.
- Tabia Charles (Pickering, Ont.): Long jump, triple jump.
- Diane Cummins (Victoria): 800m, 4x400 m.
- Carly Dockendorf (Port Moody, B.C.): Pole vault.
- Jillian Drouin (Corunna, Ont.): High jump.
- Gabriella Duclos-Lasnier (Quebec City): Pole vault.
- Nicole Edwards (Winnipeg): 1500 m.
- Alice Falaiye (Brampton, Ont.): Long jump.
- Nicole Forrester (Aurora, Ont.): High jump.
- Sultana Frizell (Perth, Ont.): Hammer throw.
- Kelsie Hendry (Saskatoon): Pole vault.
- Carline Muir (Edmonton): 400m, 4x400 m.
- Megan Muscat (St. Thomas, Ont.): T37 100 m.
- Amonn Nelson (Calgary): 400m, 4x400 m.
- Adrienne Power (Halifax): 200m, 4x400 m.
- Megann Rodhe (Kamloops, B.C.): Hammer throw.
- Leah Robinson (Petersburg, Ont.): T37 100 m.
- Diane Roy (Sherbrooke, Que.): T54 1500 m.
- Crystal Smith (Kamloops, B.C.): Hammer throw.
- Hilary Stellingwerff (Sarnia, Ont.): 1500 m.
- Vicki Tolton (Smithers, B.C.): 4x400 m.
- Angela Whyte (Edmonton): 100m hurdles.
- Megan Wright (Edmonton): 5000 m.
- Jessica Zelinka (Calgary): Heptathlon.