Hernandez, Petrick off to Junior Pan-Ams

jrpanam_2013OTTAWA – The 2013 Pan American Junior Championships begin Friday in Medellin, Columbia with two Golden Horseshoe athletes counted among the Canadian contingent of 51 athletes.

Hamilton’s Tiffany Hernandez (the family moved recently from British Columbia) will compete in the women’s javelin event while Heather Petrick of Niagara-on-the-Lake, will look for gold in the women’s 3,000-metre race.

For many of these athletes the three-day event will be their first taste of international competition and their first opportunity to take on some of the best in the world with an eye on a podium finish.

Headlining the team are two athletes who just finished competing in Moscow at the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship. Shawnacy Barber of Toronto, competed in the men’s pole vault while Khamica Bingham of Brampton, Ont., served as anchor on the women’s 4×100-metres relay team that set a Canadian Record and finished sixth in the world.

“Our country’s best junior-aged athletes and their coaches have been saddled with a great challenge – to deliver the best performance of the year at a competition that has changed dates and location since annual plans were first set last September,” comments team head coach Laurier Primeau.

“All countries competing at the championship face the same reality, thus our medal expectation hasn’t changed. We will consider it a job well done if we can improve on our tally of two years ago.”

At the last edition of this event in 2011 Canada came away with 13 medals; six silver and seven bronze.