Key weeks ahead for Turner brothers

James Turner tries to qualify for Olympics in decathlon, while Rostam looks to follow up on his Canadian title with meet in El Salvador

  • Thu Jun 30th, 2016 9:00am
  • Sports

Kelowna's James (left) and Rostam Turner are preparing for a couple of big decathlon competitions this month.

July is an important month for Kelowna brothers and Okanagan Athletics Club training partners James and Rostam Turner.

James Turner will be in Moncton, NB July 9 and 10 for his last chance at qualifying for the Olympics Games in Rio in the men’s decathlon.

With a personal best of 7,776, the eldest Turner, 22, will be striving to eclipse the Olympic standard of 8,100.

“It’s certainly within James to do it,” OAC head coach Pat Sima-Ledding said of Turner’s chances. “It’s not that far of a reach, it’s just a matter of him being able to put it all together at the right time.”

Rostam, meanwhile, will be competing in the NACAC U23 Championships July 16 and 17 in El Salvador. The younger Turner, 21, was named to Team Canada for the NACAC event after the breakthrough performance of his career two weeks ago in Ottawa.

Rostam won his first Canadian men’s decathlon title with a new personal best score of 7,565 at the Combined Events Pan American Cup.

“Breaking 7,500 points was phenomenal for Rostam,” said Sima-Ledding. “He’s improved 400 points since last season and that’s huge.

“What really impressed me is the number of PBs he’s had, he had seven out of 10 in San Diego, then five out of 10 in Ottawa, so to have that kind of progression is really quite amazing.”

James Turner was unable to compete at nationals due to a cramped hamstring.

Earlier this year, James and Rostam, competing for the University of Toronto went 1-2 in the men’s decathlon at the CIS national championships.

Other OAC news

Three OAC athletes have been invited to compete in the prestigious National Track League (NTL) series.

Jerome Blake competed at the Harry Jerome International were he was fifth in the 200m (21.37s) and 6th in the 100m (10.64s) and at the Victoria Track Classic were he came in 7th place in the 100m (10.53s).

John Gay ran the 3000m steeplechase at the Harry Jerome International, finishing in eighth place (8:57.52) and the 1500m at the Victoria Track Classic coming in with a time of 3:51.05, placing 15th.

Junior-aged athlete Sean Bergman competed in the 3000m steeplechase in both the Harry Jerome International and the Speed River Inferno in Guelph, ON. His times were 9:05.46, and 9:03.04 respectively, both well within the qualifying time of 9:10.00 for IAAF World Junior Championships.

Five OAC athletes qualified this spring for Team B.C. for the Olympic Trials and national junior championships in Edmonton— James Turner (Decathlon and long jump), Rostam Turner (decathlon), John Gay (3000m steeplechase), along with junior athletes Sean Bergman (3000m steeplechase), and Alex Taylor (100m).