Many top Canadian athletes to skip CWG

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS,

Toronto : Many top Canadian athletes have opted out of the Commonwealth Games as Canada announced a 40-member team for the Delhi mega event from Oct 6 to 12.

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While many top athletes have decided to skip the Delhi Games to concentrate on their preparations for other major events, including the 2012 London Olympics, some have decided not to go to India for security or pollution reasons.

Among them is top hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep – a bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics and a silver at the 2009 worlds – who has decided not to go New Delhi because of concerns about security and pollution, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Other top athlete not going to India are 100-metre hurdle champion Perdita Felicien, 800-metre racer Gary Reed and top 10,000-metre runners Simon Bairu, Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet.

Canadian head coach Alex Gardiner said, “We are using the Commonwealth Games as an important benchmark for those athletes pursuing selection for the London Olympic Games.

“Results in Delhi will have a direct bearing on who we provide additional support for in the next two years leading to 2012.”

The Canadian contingent features world number one shot putter Dylan Armstrong, heptathlon champion Jessica Zelinka, 2006 Commonwealth Games silver medalist hurdler Angela Whyte, and 2006 bronze medalist wheelchair racer Diane Roy.