Taysia Radoslav is one step closer to fulfilling her dream of making Team Canada and representing the nation in the 400-metre hurdles at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Youth Championships in July in Donetsk, Ukraine.
The 16-year-old Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary Grade 11 student and Burlington Track and Field Club member ended her indoor season on a fast note, racing her way to a personal best time of 57.96 and gold medal in the 400-metre sprint at the Athletics Ontario junior championship March 2 and March 3 at the Toronto Track and Field Centre.
Radoslav competed against 18 and 19 year olds at the event.
“I feel confident about fulfilling my goal of making Team Canada,” she said. “They take the top two that make standard and right now standard is .01 of a second away from my personal best time from last year, so I just have to run it again and I’m pretty sure my time will be a lot better because of my most recent personal best, which is a lot better than my time last year. I’m hoping that my 400-metre flat is a lot faster and that will make my hurdles a lot faster too.”
Radoslav finished the indoor season in Canada ranked sixth in the 400-metre sprint, ninth in the 300-metre sprint with a personal best time of 41.19 and 14th in the 200-metre sprint with a best time of 25.81.
She will begin the outdoor season next month.
The qualifying period for Team Canada runs from April 1 to June 20. The team will be announced by July 1.
Radoslav said with such a small period of time to obtain the fastest time in Canada for the 400-metre hurdles there’s no time to waste.
“Between now and the time I would qualify, I have to dedicate myself to and focus on training hard,” she said. “Because I really want to be on Team Canada, it’s very important that I put everything that I have into it. That means sleeping right, eating right, going to all the practices and really focusing on track.”
Radoslav said in addition to training hard, she will be competing in several track meets across Ontario and beyond.
“I’m hoping to go to a few meets down in the United States in April. Because the competition time that you can qualify for Team Canada starts in the beginning of April, I don’t want to waste time not competing,” she said. “This year, I really have to peak early because every other year, you always peak near the end of July/August because that’s when the nationals are. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m hopeful the dedication and hard work will pay off.”
Radoslav discovered her passion for track in Grade 9.
Since then, she has earned more than 30 medals at indoor and outdoor events.
Radoslav said representing Canada on the world track would be a dream come true.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I first became involved in track,” she said. “It would be an honour to be a part of Team Canada – I think it would be unbelievable, so surreal. I really hope I make the team.”