June 28, 2011
Double digits for Perdita Felicien at nationals
Pickering athlete wins 100m hurdles for tenth time
Jun 28, 2011 – 03:06 PM
EDMONTON, ALBERTA — Winning doesn’t get old with Perdita Felicien.
And why should it?
The track veteran from Pickering collected her tenth national title on Saturday afternoon in Calgary, winning the 100m women’s hurdles in a time of 12.80, after entering the final as the top seed following a clocking of 12.87 in a late-morning semifinal.
It was the tenth time the 30 year old has crossed the finish line first for the gold medal at the Canadian championships, dating back to her first title in 2000.
“I’m still really appreciating the journey,” she said from Edmonton, where she was preparing to run in a National Track League race on Wednesday. “It was nice to have my family there (mom and sister). I remember 2000 was the first time I won a title and to know that how many years later and I’m still doing it at this level is surreal because the landscape in track and field does change so much.
“I’m glad I’m still grounded and dedicated to my craft.”
There was a slight delay to the start of the final, as race officials discussed the possible disqualification of Pickering’s Nikkita Holder for a false start. After much deliberation, Holder was allowed to race under a protest, and made the most of the opportunity, finishing in the bronze medal position.
For Felicien it was business as usual, both in her preparation and ability to avoid being distracted. The expectation and pressure to win follows her to the start line of every race in Canada.
“There is a different mentality when you race in Canada because you do have to put on a show and you are expected to win,” she conceded.
She also noted that there is a distinct difference in running nationally as opposed to internationally. On home soil, the athletes are friendly, wishing each other good luck and generally encouraging before they get into the starting blocks. Typically Canadian, yes, but something she rarely encounters on the international circuit.
“You don’t see that at international competitions,” she said. “Things are done a little bit differently here.”
As for the situation she finds herself in training with former coach Les Gramantik in Calgary, Felicien said it’s all part of her goal to be on the medal podium next year at the Olympic Games in London. Right now, it’s a good fit.
“I’m still searching for something; that Olympic medal,” she said. “That elusive Olympic medal that I’ve always been on the cusp of or the brink of but it hasn’t really gone my way.
“It’s the one thing that I want to have.”
Based on performance, Felicien and Holder have both qualified to represent Canada at the world championships in South Korea from Aug. 27 to Sept. 4.