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Saskatchewan athlete making final push for Tokyo Olympics

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WATCH: With the summer Olympics only about six weeks away, a Saskatchewan athlete is hoping a mad dash can earn her a spot on the grandest stage – Jun 14, 2021

Momentum can come as quickly as it leaves and that was the case for Saskatoon track star Michelle Harrison in 2020.

She had just finished a year in which she nearly won all that she could, setting a Canada West record and a U Sports record in the women’s 100-metre hurdles. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, right before she injured her ankle.

“After things shut down last March, I haven’t gotten back on a track since,” Harrison said. “I think a month ago I finally got back on a track. Through it all, I just try and focus on what I can, and what I can control at the time, and just stay positive. And that’s what is getting me through it I guess.”

Read more: Saskatchewan Roughriders release their 2021 schedule

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But Harrison is back on track and putting up some impressive times, recently clocking a 13.22 at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex — the fastest time in the country thus far.

She is still hoping to improve on that time in order to qualify for this summer’s Olympics. If she can run a 12.84 in the 100-metre hurdles, she is going to Tokyo. Otherwise, she still has some work to do.

Harrison races Wednesday night, with the National Championships on June 26 and a race in Montreal on June 29. She needs 1,200 points to reach her Olympic goal.

“There is a world ranking system which is based off of times and bonus points,” coach Jason Reindl said, “through the bonus points in Windsor, Guelph, nationals, and the last chance, Le Classique de’ Montreal. To get the 1,200 points that we are anticipating is the number there.”

Harrison said she was picturing herself taking part in the Olympics last summer. However, if the 28-year-old could make her dream happen this year and represent Saskatchewan and Canada, she would be ecstatic and she may try to make it happen again in 2024.

Read more: Saskatchewan Rattlers happy to be back home for 2021 CEBL season

“Just like with my age and everything, it is still doable,” Harrison said.

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“Yeah, I definitely think I will still continue going at least another year because there are so many opportunities next year because of everything that’s been pushed back. So probably see how that goes and make a decision.”

“If we’re as successful as we think we can be this summer, world championships next year, Commonwealth Games, we would like to take advantage of that,” Reindl added. “And then really if it’s the end of 2022, your pretty darn close to 2024.”

The opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics are set for July 23.

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