The future of Canadian medal prospects will be unveiled early next month with the unveiling of The RBC Training Ground event.
Organizers made the announcement in Montreal Wednesday morning, and with 80 athletes ready to participate, ranging from 16 to 48 years old, the weekend event is quickly heating up.
The event will feature the top-ranked men and women gymnasts from Canada, plus top ranked swimmers and sprinters. Athletes will compete at a variety of different disciplines ranging from floor exercise, beam, uneven bars, high bar, and balance beam.
Competitors, who will all have their training facilities within the four-day event, will compete in all of their events, and some of them will have to decide whether to use the day as a test event for competing at next year’s World Juniors or the summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The event also offers the athletes a chance to compete at a high-level event with the support of a top-level international competition facility. The training ground event will feature four different rings including the Yamaha Dome, the main ring, the Sportsplex (West Turf), and the Philippe Chatrier.
Many of the athletes will have the chance to see if they fit into the Olympic family. Others will hopefully find a new challenge, and improve their game to make Canada’s senior team.
The event will offer the top-ranked all-around gymnasts a chance to see how they stack up against the rest of the world, which is a key point of measurement during the Olympic selection process. The two top-ranked men’s and women’s gymnasts will be chosen to represent Canada. The top-ranked sprinters, all of whom are under the age of 18, will also be looking to impress and show that they are ready to compete on the world stage.
The event will also include top ranked swimmers, with 18-year-old Sami Samri a major contender in all of his races. 16-year-old Olivia Jeffrey, who finished second in the 10-kilometer open water in the United States this summer, and Bianca Belanger, the first Canadian woman ever to finish 1-2 at the world swimming championships, will also participate in the International Olympic Committee training window.
Steve Johnson of the Canadian Olympic Committee stressed the importance of the event, saying, “This inaugural event offers athletes a unique opportunity to combine intense training with the larger national and global level competition.”
The performance and preparation of the athletes is a big part of what the world will be paying attention to on this weekend, especially when it comes to the shape of the Canadian team headed to Tokyo.
More information can be found here.