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Fri, August 13, 2004

Felicien hones her edge


As the Olympic track meet nears, Perdita Felicien is being trained not unlike the thoroughbred racing machine she has become.

Her coach, Gary Winckler, was to have put Felicien through a strenuous workout last night in Grosseto, Italy, her penultimate such effort before she arrives in Athens.

"The workout (yesterday) is very similar to being in a race where we will accentuate certain parts of the race," Winckler said yesterday from the Canadian track team's pre-Games getaway. "It's a hard, all-out workout.

"It's very similar to (thoroughbred racing). Once every seven days or so, you want such a workout when there are no races in between. You need to have that to stay sharp when preparing for a big event."

Felicien is scheduled to arrive late Sunday and will train in the Olympic city every day next week leading up to the Aug. 22 preliminary rounds of the 100-metre hurdles. The final goes the following night.

The Felicien camp may have received an indirect piece of good news yesterday when it was announced that her biggest rival, American Gail Devers, also will run in the 100 metres.

Devers will replace Torri Edwards who was booted from the team because of a drug infraction.

Devers could race two heats in the 100 metres on Friday and two more on Saturday, then have to begin the hurdles the next day.

"It's hard to say how it will effect (Devers), but it will certainly be a demanding schedule," Winckler said.

The two have taken a careful look at her most recent race in Zurich, Switzerland which she won in a solid 12.52 seconds. Winckler said the best thing about the race was that the time and win were achieved despite a rough run.

"We particularly looked at that race and it wasn't one of her best technically," Winckler said. "That she ran that kind of time was encouraging considering she wasn't as good as she could be technically."

Meanwhile, Felicien has fit nicely into the Canadian camp and is a popular teammate among the 22 Olympians.

"She's just being Perdita, she's a real pleasant person to be around and is just one of the team," Athletics Canada head coach Alex Gardiner said. "There is no entourage, no special treatment. She is just herself."


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I'm disappointed, but not worried
We'll get 'em in Turin
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