Chasing Olympic dreams at Jerome Classic 

International governing body gives June 20 event high status

click to enlarge PHOTOGRAPH BY DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS - The men's 100 metres is always among the highlights at the annual Harry Jerome Classic, slated for June 20 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.
  • Photograph By DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS
  • The men's 100 metres is always among the highlights at the annual Harry Jerome Classic, slated for June 20 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.

The annual Harry Jerome Track Classic is recognized as one of the top International track and field meets in North America and now with a new announcement from world governing body IAAF the meet has taken on new meaning.

The ruling from the IAAF reads: "The IAAF has undertaken to create a global Ranking System where athletes score points based on a combination of result and place depending on the level of the competition in which the result is achieved. The ranking is then based on their average score over a certain number of competitions in a defined period of time."

Simple explanation: A solid result at the Jerome meet could help send an athlete to the Olympics or World Championships.

The IAAF has broken world-wide meets into ten tiers, the top tier being the Olympics and World Championships, followed by tier two consisting of the Diamond League finals. The Jerome meet, which will be held Thursday, June 20 at Swangard Stadium, is listed in the seventh tier, just below national championships, making it one of the highest ranking meets in the country.

"This new format is certainly going to make meets like the Jerome more appealing to athletes looking to qualify for the World and Olympic Games," said Chris Winter, Technical Manager, BC Athletics. "It will also create interest for fans of the sport as they follow an athlete's performance during the year and then, based on those performances, where they stand in the world rankings at the end of the season."

The IAAF has announced World Rankings will be issued each Wednesday on their website.

"This change by the IAAF brings to life the original concept in 1983 to create an opportunity for Canadian athlete s to achieve the level of performance needed to move to the Olympic level," said Doug Clement, President of the Achilles International Track and Field Society. "Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, is one of the finest facilities for International track and field in Canada."

Tickets are now on sale for the Harry Jerome Classic and can be purchased here.

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