Thursday, August 11, 2011

Im Going to Daegu!!!!

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind! Like I said in my earlier post, I was told that I was going to find out this past Tuesday if I was selected to the Canadian team that will compete in Daegu, South Korea at the World Track and Field Championships this month. I had to wait all day and in the end, I was told that I was not selected. I had a feeling all day since I hadnt heard from anyone that it probably was not going to be good news and so I prepared myself so that I wouldnt feel shocked when I found out the bad news. I was told that I even though they considered my case for a long time, that it came down to the fact that since I had already gone to the World Championships in 2009 with the 'B' standard, that they couldnt make an exception for me when there were other athletes in the same situation as me. I understood their position and I took the result with no complaint.

I was sad about the decision at first but just like I had thought the whole month leading up to the decision, I said that if I did not get selected to the team that I would take it as a positive and look at it as an opportunity to get more training in leading up to the races in Europe that I will do in September. Right away Tim and I were thinking about our next steps and moving forward with training.

This morning when I woke up, Tim said told me to check my e-mail and he seemed to have known something I didnt. I hadnt gotten any e-mails that indicated anything except for an e-mail from my former coach Richard Borek saying "Congratulations on making the team, I dont know why they left you off the team in the first place". This really confused me because the last I heard, I was not selected. Turns out that our good friend, Allen James, sent an e-mail to several Canadian racewalkers stating how outrageous he thought it was that I was not selected to the team. This sprung Jianping Xu (JP), a Canadian racewalker originally from China, to send an e-mail to Athletics Canada's board of director's chair to ask why I was left off the team and he told them how much he thought the team was missing out on me not being on the team and how much it would help my development. Then e-mails started being spread all over. Apparently Athletics Canada's athlete representatives (Jared McLeod and Jennifer Joyce) thought that I should be named to the team and they never gave up on me. They kept urging Athletics Canada to select me and it ended up going to CEO Rob Guy. He then decided that I should be put on the team and said that he would make it happen. WOW!!! I was just shocked and amazed at all these people rooting for me. I am definitely not used to that kind of support. I am forever grateful to them for sticking up for me like that. I had no idea that any of this was going on the last few days. Finally I got a phone call from Athletics Canada saying that they reconsidered me and decided to put me on the team! It was just so unexpected!

I am thrilled to be going back to the World Championships. Two years ago when I was there, I thought that I had NO CHANCE to make the team again in 2011. I knew that I would have to walk the 'A' standard of 1:33:30 and I thought that I was many years from accomplishing that. Although I didnt quite walk the 'A' this year (yet), I am pretty darn close! Only 13 seconds off! I have completely surpassed my goals coming into this year and I hope to continue the improvement in the next month and a half as I race in Daegu and in Europe.

So here are the details-

Race: August 31st, 9am (EST- 11 hours difference)
Results: daegu2011.iaaf.org
Video Coverage: In Canada only, they will show the race live online at www.cbc.ca/video/#/Sports. Everywhere else, they may show it live online at www.universalsports.com

I leave on Tuesday to travel to the pre-competition camp in Changwon City, South Korea. I will blog when I am there!

I cannot thank all of you enough for your support and encouragement! It makes such a huge difference for me and helps me stay motivated to work towards my goals. By the way, today is exactly a year till the women's 20km racewalk race at the Olympic Games in London. Daegu is the first step towards making it to London, here we go!

Keep on walking,

Rachel

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