In one of the deepest events in Canadian track history, Canada’s best all-around track athlete became victorious.
In a stunning upset, Jessica Zelinka of London, Ontario won the women’s hurdles competition at the 2012 Canadian Olympic Track and Field trials in Calgary on Saturday.
According to Athletics Canada, Zelinka, who posted a time of 12.68, is going to the Olympic Games with Phylicia George of Scarborough and Nikkita Holder of East York, Ontario.
After a brief consultation with her coach Les Gramantik, Zelinka turned to myself and Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald and said “I’m going. I’ve decided to do both.”
But the biggest news of the event was not who qualified but who didn’t. Both Perdita Felicien, the 2003 World Champion, and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, the 2008 Olympic Bronze Medallist and 2010 Diamond League Champion failed to qualify into the top three. Felicien was disqualified for false starting.
Zelinka feels really sorry for Felicien and Lopes-Schliep. “It was a horrible situation”, she stated. “There was no good outcome really.”
Other athletes that qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London were Dylan Armstrong and Justin Rodhe in the men’s shotput, Rachel Seaman and Inaki Gomez in the racewalking, Alex Genest in the steeplechase, Heather Steacy and Sultan Frizell in women’s hammer, Julie Labonte in the women’s shotput, Melanie Blouin in the women’s pole vault, Sarah Wells in the women’s 400m, Jim Steacy in the men’s hammer, Jared Connaughton in the men’s 200m, Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith in the women’s 800m and Derek Drouin of Sarnia, Ontario and Michael Mason of New Westminster, British Columbia.
Meanwhile late Friday, Cameron Levins qualified in the men’s 5000m and Jenna Martin qualified in the women’s 400m.