Track and Field Trials 2012

The Canada Track and Field Olympic Trials happened over the weekend. It was fun to watch a few athletes that I know of/seen race (Christian Brennan, Bridget Hayes). But I was really looking forward to watching the sprints and the hurdles most of all.

The sprints when by. Loved Justyn Warner’s face when he won his 100m final. He will be representing Canada in the 100m and the 4x100m (which is brother is part of as well!). The longer distance track races were intense as well – Those 800m runners are insane!

The big race of Saturday evening’s races was the 100m Women’s Hurdles. It was already hyped up because of Perdita Felicien and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep. Priscilla won the bronze in Bejing and Perdita had that infamous trip on the first hurdle in Athens. Priscilla gave birth in September and had limited training time. The other big thing was that 6 of the 8 runners in the final had already met the qualifying standard, meaning that the first three finishers would qualify for the Olympics.

If you haven’t watched the race, watch it here first.


So….Perdita false started. The new Athletics Canada rule is: you false start, you are out. Previously it was one false start and the entire field is charged, next false start is out no matter what. When watching it again, it appears that something clicked in the crowd (camera?) and that might have set her off. She protested the false start and ran anyways. The decision was made very quick that her disqualification would stand and she would not be on the Olympic Track Team.

Priscilla on the other hand had a catastrophic trip on the 7th hurdle on her trail leg. She clipped it bad enough that she stumbled into another lane, which is an automatic disqualification. I think she knew and it appears that she ‘shut down’ after that. Sad thing was that she was in the lead right until that moment. Disappointing!

Now, some people are saying that they both made the qualifying time, so they should be able to go. I think this might have been a possibility if there were not 4 other women who had met the QT. That is how these races go. Even happens on the road to OFSAA. Someone could be ranked really high and something goes wrong and they no longer qualify. All my jumpers could have qualified for OFSAA if they jumped at their near season’s best – but they didn’t, so no matter what their season looked like, they are out.

I am not a fan of the no-false start rule. I am also not a fan of people making lots of noise before a start, especially sounds that resemble starting guns. It is not like sprinters have a second to get their act together when the gun goes off. As someone who has screwed up a start from time to time – one slip up = you are not winning that race. They are on edge and heavily concentrated. That and starting blocks are not comfortable!

I’m disappointed for sure. But it happens. Looking forward to watching the Olympics at the end of the month!!!




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  1. Kristen

    I don’t think it is just an athletics Canada rule – I think it is an international rule. I think it will be the rule at the Olympics as well…

    1. Rebecca

      Yeah, it is an IAAF rule, and yup it is game on for the Olympics. Google ‘no false start rule’, there are some articles on it especially from last year when Usain Bolt FSed at Worlds. Apparently they moved from the ‘one and everyone is charged’ rule because some were intentionally FSing to get the more speedy people all jittered up.

      Oh and trolling around Perdita’s twitter – did you see the comment she made to someone about the start gun malfunctioning —eeek!


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