July 3, 2014 8:06 pm

World’s top track and field athletes set to compete in Edmonton

Mayor Don Iveson (L) with Canada's Angela Whyte (R).

Global News

EDMONTON – Top athletes in track and field from around the world, including five of the world’s number one athletes, will meet in TrackTown Canada for the Edmonton International Track Classic this Saturday and Sunday at the University of Alberta’s Foote Field.

This weekend’s star-studded cast includes the world’s reigning fastest man and London 2012 USA 100m Olympic gold medallist Justin Gatlin, along with two-time American gold medallist in the 400m & 4x400m LaShawn Merritt.

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Edmonton’s own two-time Olympic 100m hurdler Angela Whyte, high jumper Derek Drouin, and number one world-ranked heptathlete Brianne Thiesen-Eaton are among the notable Canadians appearing at the track event.

The meet is the first international meet for track and field in North America after the Caribbean, Canadian and USA Championships. It ranks in the top 30 of worldwide international meets.

“Every year we’ve been building,” said EITC Meet Director Peter Ogilvie. “This kind of calibre of athlete hasn’t been here since 2001 with the World Championships, so the depth is amazing.”

WATCH: Peter Ogilvie explains what’s in store for the athletes

Edmonton’s Whyte can scratch competing in her hometown off her bucket list this weekend when the world’s best compete at Foote Field.

“What we’re trying to do for the sport of track in field here in Edmonton is huge in Canada,” said Whyte.

“Always coming home is great, but to come home and participate in a sport that I love is just something that truly is a priority for me.”

The EITC signals exciting times ahead for Edmonton track and field fans with a string of notable events in the sport being hosted in the city in the next few years.

“We have the Olympic Trials in 2016 here at Foote Field, the Pan Am Game Trials, and the Pan Am Junior Track and Field Championships here next year,” said Ogilvie.

Events start at 1 p.m. on both days, with Saturday ending at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets for the EITC are still available. People can purchase tickets online or in person at Foote Field and Athletics Alberta headquarters on Groat Road. Parking will be available at Foote Field to go along with the LRT as another corridor for people to access the events this weekend.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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