hurdler Leewinchell Jean wrapped his outdoor track season
with his biggest prize of all last week, captur-ing the
gold medal in the U20 400-metre event at the Canadian Track
and Field Championships in Montreal.
high school champion blew the field away in the final, crossing
the finish line early 15 metres ahead of the defending champion
in the event, Scott Dixon.
was it Jean’s first medal at a national event, it was his
first national event period. He was the number one ranked
junior hurdler heading into the meet based on his time at
the OFSAA provincial championships in June which he won
in 52.95 seconds.
Jean was well off his personal best time in Montréal, he
still managed to run a sub-55, crossing the finish line
in 54.42 seconds.
in lane five, Jean was already way ahead of his fellow competitors
heading into the final bend. As he came off the turn and
headed into the final stretch, no one was near him. He ended
up stretching a 10-metre lead into a 15-metre win over the
final two hurdles.
into the event after placing 11th at the Pan Am Junior Championships
in Costa Rica earlier in the month. Keep in mind that the
Gisèle-Lalonde grad is only 18 years old and still has a
year of junior eligibility left.
seen a marked improvement in his times ever since he joined
the Ottawa Lions track club last year. As a result of his
success, he was approached by several universities seeking
his ser-vices. He settled on the University of Windsor and
is looking forward to competing at the next level.
going to be a challenge especially in my first year, but
I’m really looking forward to it,” says Jean, who faces
an additional challenge as a member of the Seventh Day Adventist
church which calls for members to refrain from the pursuit
of secular activities, including sports, on the Sabbath
which is observed on Saturdays.
are left to decide on their own whether to compete on the
Sabbath or not. The only time it’s really caused a conflict
in Jean’s short career is the recent Athletics Ontario championship
during which the 400-hurdle final was scheduled on a Saturday.
Jean decided to forego the meet, having already won the
provincial high school championship. The
final at the Canadian championships was held on Sunday.
time he’s had to compete on the Sabbath was at the Pan Am
Championhips. In the future, he will decided on a meet-by-meet
of Seventh Day Adventist athletes are few and far between,
but there are a handful of hurch members who managed to
balance their faith with heir pursuit of athletics including
Kenyan marathon runner Priscah Jeptoo who won the gold medal
at the 2012 Olympics and David Alaba who is a midfielder
for Bayern Munich.
Paralympian Lijiljana Ljubisic won a gold medal in discus
and a silver medal in shot put competing for Canada at the
1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona.
the most famous Seventh Day Adventist athlete was professional
boxer Archie Moore who held the world light heavyweight
title for 10 years from 1952 to 1962.
Day Adventist Church is a Protestant denomination which
is distinguished by its adherence to the Sabbath on the
seventh day of the week and its emphasis on the imminent
Second Coming (Advent) of Jesus Christ. It is often confused
with the Church of Latter Day Saints which is Mormon.
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