Track and field fans can now catch a street-level view of the action at the Festival of Excellence, a world-class track and field meet hosted by the University of Toronto’s Varsity Centre on June 11th.

Lane 9 tickets, released on May 20 and priced at $25, give fans access to a street festival on Devonshire Place, just inches from the edge of the eight-lane track where the world’s top athletes will compete.

The Festival of Excellence, which will be broadcast live on TSN, features a series of international track stars, including Olympic triple gold medallist and world record holder Usain Bolt, Canadian Olympic hurdlers Perdita Felicien and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, as well as decathlete Bryan Clay, known as the world’s greatest athlete. Bolt proved that he is in top form with his breakaway win in a Manchester street race on May 17, where he ran the fastest 150 metres in history.

In addition to a close-up view of the action in this intimate stadium, Lane 9 ticketholders will enjoy a line-up of musical talented organized by Canadian Idol’s Farley Flex, concession stands featuring international cuisine, and a chance for kids and adults to try out some track and field events themselves Key events for the Festival of Excellence include 800m women (wheelchair), pole vault (triathlon), high jump women, pole vault women, high jump men,400m women, 400m men, 110mH (triathlon), mile men, 800m men, mile women, 400m men (triathlon), 100mH women and 100m men.

The Festival of Excellence is part of a series of track and field events celebrating Varsity Centre’s IAAF-certified track and the new throws area that makes its debut in June. Other key events include the OFSAA track and field championships, Ontario’s biggest high school athletics event, which takes place June 4-6, and the 2009 Canadian senior track and field championships June 25-28.

The breadth of this summer’s line-up reflects U of T’s playground-to-podium philosophy, which fosters long-term development for all students and athletes, from the elementary school student to the international competitor.

The playground-to-podium model extends to the proposed Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, which when complete will feature a world-class sport medicine clinic, sport science research and teaching labs, and the 2,000-seat Kimel Family Field House for basketball and volleyball.

The Goldring Centre will serve as a major nexus for innovation in sports science research, sports medicine and the training of coaches.

Tickets for the Festival of Excellence are available through For event details, visit

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