Why was Jessica Zelinka NOT at World Championships?

In last week’s Freelap Friday Five, I interviewed Jessica Zelinka but surprisingly, she was not the Team Canada Roster in Sopot World Indoor Championships, despite setting 4 PRs in a single meet.

Why was she left off the team? I had a huge number of emails, Twitter, and Facebook messages asking the same question.

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It all comes down to a rule Athletics Canada has in there National team selection rule book (separate document from the world indoors qualifying requirements) that they do not accept altitude times for when there is a one-time only standard.

Jessica ran her races in Albuquerque, New Mexico…where USA track hosted their National indoor championships and world indoor trials.

As far as I know, Canada is the only country to implement this rule because IAAF accepts times altitude times (hence why USA trials were in Albuquerque). If I am wrong, please comment below.

Even if they used the NCAA conversion tables for altitude, her time at that location would have been modified from 8.02 to 8.04 (still under the Athletics Canada standard of 8.05 and way under the IAAF standard of 8.16).

The irony is, Athletics Canada accepts altitude times within Canada (i.e. Calgary), just not at competitions outside of Canada.

At Sopot, the top 5 finishers in the 60mH W Final were under 8 seconds! Jessica already proved in London 2012 with her 7th place finish in the 100mH (after a gruelling 2-day Heptathlon!) that she belongs up there with the Elite hurdlers.

Given the right circumstances, I believe Jessica could have run under 8.00 for the 60mH.

I hope this clarifies the matter.

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at SpeedEndurance.com
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee