Olympic heartbreak is motivating Canadian hurdler Perdita Felicien as she gets set to run in next week’s Drake Relays. The former NCAA champion at Illinois was a heavy favorite to win gold in the 100-meter hurdles at the summer games in Athens last year, but she caught a hurdle with her lead leg in the final, fell and suffered a heel injury that sidelined her for several months. She says it was hard for her to see past to the future, but she says she had no choice but to get over it if she wanted to be the best in the world.She began clearing hurdles again in December and after a few indoor meets to regain her form. Felicien ran her first outdoor race since the Olympics last week in California and posted a time of 12-point-73 seconds, the best in the world this year.She will defend her world title she won in 2003 later this year in Finland. She says it boosted her confidence, but didn’t give her complete confidence yet.Felicien burst onto the international scene in 2003 by winning at the World Outdoor Championships in Paris. She will defend that title later this year in Finland. She says now that she has her first race under her belt, she’d motivated to come back and defend her title. Felicien was the first Canadian woman to win a world outdoor championship and her fall at the Olympics generated an outpouring of support from her native country. She says that got her extremely emotional, because she didn’t know how she be viewed. She says she still gets a lot of support and she says people are happy she was able to turn things around. Felicien will run in the special invitational 100 hurdles on April 30th.
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