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‘Bajans’ in Canada’s team

Tony Best

‘Bajans’ in Canada’s team

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Bajans have good reasons to pay close attention to the fortunes of Canada’s team in the London Olympic Games next month: the daughter and sons of Bajan parents are to represent the North American country.
Justyn Warner, Canada’s fastest man, and his brother, Ian, as well as Nikitta Holder are in the 41-member Canadian track and field team.
The mothers of the athletes knew each other from their early days in Barbados before emigrating to Canada.
Justyn, 25, will compete in the 100-metre sprint and will later join his brother Ian in the 4×100 metres relay. Nikitta, 25, is to compete in the 100 metres hurdles.
Justin earned his place by winning the 100 metres at the Canadian Olympic trials in Calgary with a career best time of 10.15 seconds, while his brother came in second in 10.18 seconds.
Holder, on the other hand, qualified to represent Canada by finishing third in the 100 metres hurdles at the trials, after top-ranked Perdita Felicien was disqualified for a false start and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, placed fifth after clipping a hurdle.
The race was won by heptathlete Jessica Zelinka with Phylicia George in second place.
Although the experts consider the Warner brothers and Holder to be long shots for medals in London, the hurdler isn’t looking on the negative side.
With the American and Jamaican sprinters, led by Usain Bolt, chalking up faster times than the Warners, a medal for the Canadians would be considered a major upset.
“As athletes, we definitely work hard, and we worked hard to make the Olympic team, so I think we can do it,” said Holder. “And Justyn and I always do, so anything is possible.”
Ian Warner has a different take on competing in the Olympics for Canada.
“I’m really happy, and to be able to go with my brother. It’s my first Olympics and we’re doing it together . . . it doesn’t get more golden than that,” he said.