Canadian track stars ready to shine in Moncton

Olympians Jessica Smith and Melissa Bishop wil run the women's 800m.
Olympians Jessica Smith and Melissa Bishop wil run the women’s 800m.

The 2013 Canadian Track and Field Championship kicks off on Thursday in Moncton, and promise to offer plenty of excitement, joy and, for some, heartbreak.

The event serves as the selection trials for the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships and Jeux de la Francophonie. Athletes aiming to represent Canada at the IAAF or IPC World Championships need to place in the top three in order to be eligible for selection.

Live streaming of the event will start tomorrow, and run through to Sunday, June 23.

In the men’s 800m, Geoff Harris will take on Nate Brannen and Kyle Smith, although Harris has a PB almost a second faster than Brannen and Smith.

Brannen will also run the men’s 1500m, although he’ll face some very tough competition from Cam Levins and Taylor Milne. Levins is also racing in the 5000m, after narrowly missing the Canadian record at the Pre Classic earlier this month. Levins will also aim to beat Mo Ahmed in the 10,000m, which promises to be a tight race between the two.

Former Canadian Running cover model Alex Genest will go for the podium in the men’s 3000m steeplechase on Friday, battling against Taylor Milne, Chris Winter and Matthew Hughes.

The women’s 800m on Sunday will also be a battle of the Olympians, pitting Melissa Bishop, Diane Cummins, Jessica Smith and Hilary Stellingwerff against each other. They’ll be joined by Karine Belleau-Béliveau and Lemlem Ogasilassie, who have shown this season they are not to be overlooked.

Sheila Reid is expected to perform in the women’s 1500m, but she’ll face some stiff competition in Nicole Sifuentes and Kate Van Buskirk, who seems to lower her personal best in every outing this season.

The men’s 100m race could be a close one. Toronto’s Aaron Brown, who set a personal best of 10.05 at the NCAA Division I Championships in the 100-metres, will face off against 2012 Olympians Justyn Warner, Gavin Smellie and Jared Connaughton.

And in the men’s T54 classification wheelchair 800-metres Josh Cassidy will duke it out with of Jean-Paul Compaore Alexandre Dupont. Cassidy finished fifth in this event at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Get all the details of the event at the 2013 Canadian Track and Field Championship website and catch all the action live here.