The road to London is full of hurdles……literally! As the Canadian track and field championships take place in Calgary, the talk is on the women’s 100m hurdles, where six women have made the “A” standard. Only three women will make the team. The stakes are high – the right to wear the red and white in London at the Olympic Games. However, it is not just the outfit they want, or the chance to experience such an incredibly powerful event…… these women want to make the final and to make a statement that they are the best in the world!
Of the six women, four are already Olympians. Priscilla Lopes-Schliep already has a bronze medal from Beijing. Perdita Felicien has a world championship title, but unfortunately is remembered for her fall in Athens 2004 over the first hurdle. Angela Whyte is a two time Olympian, placing 6th in Athens. Nikkita Holder and Phylicia George are rookies and want their Olympic careers to begin in London. And then there is Jessica Zelinka, the newly crowned Canadian champion in heptathlon. She broke her own Canadian record and is currently ranked 3rd in the world in this event. She too will compete for a spot in the top 3 on Saturday in the women’s 100m hurdles.
There are no second chances. I get it. I have felt, lived, and fought through that pressure. It is exhilarating, it is difficult, but most of all, it is why we compete in sport, and why we watch sport! There are no guarantees! Until you cross the finish line, the question remains…… who CAN do it? Who WILL do it? These Canadian women want to make a statement – but who will have the final say?
Catriona Le May Doan