The countdown is on to next year’s PanAm/Parapan Games in this province and sprinter Kimberly Hyacinthe just can’t wait to get on the track.
If selected to represent Canada, it will be the first time that she will get an opportunity to compete in a major global competition at home in front of family and friends.
“My family members are all in Montreal, but I am certain a few of them are going to be here to see me run,” she said.
Born in Canada’s second largest city to Haitian immigrants, the 200-metre specialist relocated to the Greater Toronto Area about two years ago to be coached by Olympic bronze medallist Desai Williams and two-time Canadian Coach of the Year Anthony McCleary who runs the Elite Edge Club in Pickering.
“The athletes under their tutelage have had success and I have seen first-hand how thorough the coaches are in their preparation,” Hyacinthe said. “They work well with their athletes and I am happy to be part of their team.”
She was among a group of Elite Edge Club athletes who spent two weeks last January training in St. Kitts at the Silver Jubilee Stadium which was upgraded last year with equipment donations from Athletics Canada.
“It’s a fantastic facility and it helps to get out of the cold and train in a warm environment,” she said. “I have enjoyed each of my four visits there.”
Her main goals this year are to stay healthy, make it to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland this summer and medal.
Hyacinthe enjoyed a banner year in 2013.
She won the 200-metre event in a personal best 22.78 secs. at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) championships in Kazan. She’s the only female Canadian athlete to capture a gold medal at the Games and the only national competitor to secure two FISU gold medals, having been a member of the winning 4 x 400-metre team in 2009.
Hyacinthe also teamed up with Crystal Emmanuel, Shai-Anne Davis and Khamica Bingham to set a new Canadian sprint relay record – 42.99 secs. – at the world outdoor championships in Moscow last August.
“Winning the gold last year in a personal best and being part of the Canadian team that broke the national sprint record have definitely been the highlights of my career so far,” added Hyacinthe who turns 25 later this month. “I was finally able to break the 23-second mark and that was very satisfying.”
Off to a fast start this indoor season setting 60- and 300-metre records – 7.29 secs. and 37.46 secs. respectively — at the 19th McGill Team Challenge in Montreal, Hyacinthe will compete in the 60-metre sprint at the inaugural AC Indoor Open in Montreal from March 14-16.