On Wednesday, June 22, athletes began assembling at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park for the start of the 2022 Bell Canadian Track and Field Championships.
More than 1,600 able-bodied and Paralympic athletes are registered for the national championships, which are being held in B.C. for the first time since 2004.
Langley heptathlon star Georgia Ellenwood, interviewed at the track, told the Langley Advance Times that being forced to sit this one out, due to a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in February, was extremely frustrating.
“It’s driving me a little bit crazy,” she confessed.
Ellenwood, who confirmed she will be working as a commentator during the event, is focused on next year, when she will be fully recovered and able to compete when Langley hosts the Canadian championships again.
“I’m going to keep that in the back of my mind, and work towards that for next year,” Ellenwood confided.
Her recovery has been going very well, she reported, after being in a cast for two weeks, a boot for eight weeks, and then learning how to walk again.
READ ALSO: Injuries sideline top athletes at Bell Canadian track and field championships in Langley
Victoria Paralympic athlete Nate Riech, who has set several world records for 1500 metres, was looking forward to the event and predicting “a lot of fast times.”
“Its cool to have one that’s actually in B.C.,” Riech remarked.
Steeplechase racer John Gay, from Kelowna, described himself as a “B.C. boy, born and raised,” explaining the Langley stadium, was familiar territory, the place where he wrapped up his high school career.
“There is some special, sentimental value, associated with competing here,” Gay said.
Simon Nathan, Athletics Canada’s high performance director, was expecting some close outcomes, and new names on the podium, partly because some familiar names had to opt out due to injuries, but also because “we have some new stars breaking through.”
“That’s exciting,” Nathan commented.
READ ALSO: Langley prepares for Bell Canadian Track and Field Championships
Langley Township was originally awarded the 2021 and 2022 editions of the event, back in July 2017.
But with the pandemic forcing postponement of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, along with Athletics Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Trials, the Langley dates had to be moved, with the Township hosting the 2022 and 2023 events.
More photos from Wednesday can be online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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