Track star to represent Canada at world championships

News Jul 06, 2011 East York Mirror

It has been a whirlwind of a week for Canada's newest track darling, Crystal Emmanuel.

Emmanuel, born in Scarborough, raised in Barbados and now living in the East York area, beat out four-time Canadian champ and Flying Angels clubmate Toyin Olupona by an eyelash to win the 100-metre spring with a time of 11.45 at the Canadian track and field championships in Calgary late last month.

Olupona, a native of Orillia, Ont., finished four-hundredths of a second behind the Toronto native.

Emmanuel, captured live on television collapsing in pain at the finish line after winning the 100m sprint on June 24, also won a gold medal in the 200m the following day, coming in at 22.99.

She is the first woman to win both titles since Hamilton's Erica Witter did so in 2003.

"I was running and about five or 10 metres before the finish line I felt a sharp pain in my right baby toe," she said, noting she didn't really have any nagging injuries leading up to the nationals.

"I kind of slowed down a bit (in the last couple of metres) but I finished the race...I felt a very hot pain in my foot."

Remarkably, neither times were personal bests for the shy 19-year-old East York Alternative student who trains under the tutelage of Athletics Canada coaches Desai Williams and Anthony McCleary.

"It was a bit windy and cold, so I wish I could've PB'd (personal best) in both races," she said.

A bit subdued, she isn't sure how to respond to her new stardom, so she'll take it in stride.

"It's just still kind of sinking in but not really yet."

Emmanuel, who trains five to six days per week, may be taken aback by the success and sudden attention, but her mother isn't.

"I knew she could do it," said Roslind Emmanuel, a former track star and Barbados national team member in the 1980s.

"I'm very happy with where she's at right now and I know that, with God's help and with her continued training, she's going to go even further."

Indications of a future track star came early on in her only daughter's life.

"She was running before she could even walk," said Roslind. "She was always running so I said, 'You know what this kid doesn't stop running, let me just see what she can do.' Then she had a sports day at school in Toronto and she went and won the race."

Emmanuel and her mother returned to Barbados shortly after, in 2008, to tend to her ailing grandmother, at which time track took a back seat to life.

When her grandmother died, Emmanuel returned to her hometown and began focussing on the sport again.

"After she got back into it she started winning again so I signed her up to the York (University's) track club...Now every time she steps onto the track her times get better and better."

As a result of her performance at the Calgary nationals, Emmanuel will represent Canada in August at the world championships in Daegu, Korea.

Those championships mark the end of the line for the international track season.

Naturally, she has an eye on qualifying for the Canadian national team and going to the London Olympic Games next year, but she will have to make it and fare well at next year's nationals first.

Again, her mother is right behind her.

"It's very feasible," said Roslind, who also coaches at Flying Angels. "She may be very shy, but she's very determined. If she wants something she's going to go out there and do what she has to do to get it."

Flying Angeles head coach Earl Letford, who has helped guide Emmanuel since she joined the club in 2009, sees it the same way.

"She's very focused, dedicated and hard working," he said, pointing out that she's also a great mentor to the younger runners at the club.

Track star to represent Canada at world championships

Crystal Emmanuel takes two golds at Canadian championships

News Jul 06, 2011 East York Mirror

It has been a whirlwind of a week for Canada's newest track darling, Crystal Emmanuel.

Emmanuel, born in Scarborough, raised in Barbados and now living in the East York area, beat out four-time Canadian champ and Flying Angels clubmate Toyin Olupona by an eyelash to win the 100-metre spring with a time of 11.45 at the Canadian track and field championships in Calgary late last month.

Olupona, a native of Orillia, Ont., finished four-hundredths of a second behind the Toronto native.

Emmanuel, captured live on television collapsing in pain at the finish line after winning the 100m sprint on June 24, also won a gold medal in the 200m the following day, coming in at 22.99.

Related Content

She is the first woman to win both titles since Hamilton's Erica Witter did so in 2003.

"I was running and about five or 10 metres before the finish line I felt a sharp pain in my right baby toe," she said, noting she didn't really have any nagging injuries leading up to the nationals.

"I kind of slowed down a bit (in the last couple of metres) but I finished the race...I felt a very hot pain in my foot."

Remarkably, neither times were personal bests for the shy 19-year-old East York Alternative student who trains under the tutelage of Athletics Canada coaches Desai Williams and Anthony McCleary.

"It was a bit windy and cold, so I wish I could've PB'd (personal best) in both races," she said.

A bit subdued, she isn't sure how to respond to her new stardom, so she'll take it in stride.

"It's just still kind of sinking in but not really yet."

Emmanuel, who trains five to six days per week, may be taken aback by the success and sudden attention, but her mother isn't.

"I knew she could do it," said Roslind Emmanuel, a former track star and Barbados national team member in the 1980s.

"I'm very happy with where she's at right now and I know that, with God's help and with her continued training, she's going to go even further."

Indications of a future track star came early on in her only daughter's life.

"She was running before she could even walk," said Roslind. "She was always running so I said, 'You know what this kid doesn't stop running, let me just see what she can do.' Then she had a sports day at school in Toronto and she went and won the race."

Emmanuel and her mother returned to Barbados shortly after, in 2008, to tend to her ailing grandmother, at which time track took a back seat to life.

When her grandmother died, Emmanuel returned to her hometown and began focussing on the sport again.

"After she got back into it she started winning again so I signed her up to the York (University's) track club...Now every time she steps onto the track her times get better and better."

As a result of her performance at the Calgary nationals, Emmanuel will represent Canada in August at the world championships in Daegu, Korea.

Those championships mark the end of the line for the international track season.

Naturally, she has an eye on qualifying for the Canadian national team and going to the London Olympic Games next year, but she will have to make it and fare well at next year's nationals first.

Again, her mother is right behind her.

"It's very feasible," said Roslind, who also coaches at Flying Angels. "She may be very shy, but she's very determined. If she wants something she's going to go out there and do what she has to do to get it."

Flying Angeles head coach Earl Letford, who has helped guide Emmanuel since she joined the club in 2009, sees it the same way.

"She's very focused, dedicated and hard working," he said, pointing out that she's also a great mentor to the younger runners at the club.

Track star to represent Canada at world championships

Crystal Emmanuel takes two golds at Canadian championships

News Jul 06, 2011 East York Mirror

It has been a whirlwind of a week for Canada's newest track darling, Crystal Emmanuel.

Emmanuel, born in Scarborough, raised in Barbados and now living in the East York area, beat out four-time Canadian champ and Flying Angels clubmate Toyin Olupona by an eyelash to win the 100-metre spring with a time of 11.45 at the Canadian track and field championships in Calgary late last month.

Olupona, a native of Orillia, Ont., finished four-hundredths of a second behind the Toronto native.

Emmanuel, captured live on television collapsing in pain at the finish line after winning the 100m sprint on June 24, also won a gold medal in the 200m the following day, coming in at 22.99.

Related Content

She is the first woman to win both titles since Hamilton's Erica Witter did so in 2003.

"I was running and about five or 10 metres before the finish line I felt a sharp pain in my right baby toe," she said, noting she didn't really have any nagging injuries leading up to the nationals.

"I kind of slowed down a bit (in the last couple of metres) but I finished the race...I felt a very hot pain in my foot."

Remarkably, neither times were personal bests for the shy 19-year-old East York Alternative student who trains under the tutelage of Athletics Canada coaches Desai Williams and Anthony McCleary.

"It was a bit windy and cold, so I wish I could've PB'd (personal best) in both races," she said.

A bit subdued, she isn't sure how to respond to her new stardom, so she'll take it in stride.

"It's just still kind of sinking in but not really yet."

Emmanuel, who trains five to six days per week, may be taken aback by the success and sudden attention, but her mother isn't.

"I knew she could do it," said Roslind Emmanuel, a former track star and Barbados national team member in the 1980s.

"I'm very happy with where she's at right now and I know that, with God's help and with her continued training, she's going to go even further."

Indications of a future track star came early on in her only daughter's life.

"She was running before she could even walk," said Roslind. "She was always running so I said, 'You know what this kid doesn't stop running, let me just see what she can do.' Then she had a sports day at school in Toronto and she went and won the race."

Emmanuel and her mother returned to Barbados shortly after, in 2008, to tend to her ailing grandmother, at which time track took a back seat to life.

When her grandmother died, Emmanuel returned to her hometown and began focussing on the sport again.

"After she got back into it she started winning again so I signed her up to the York (University's) track club...Now every time she steps onto the track her times get better and better."

As a result of her performance at the Calgary nationals, Emmanuel will represent Canada in August at the world championships in Daegu, Korea.

Those championships mark the end of the line for the international track season.

Naturally, she has an eye on qualifying for the Canadian national team and going to the London Olympic Games next year, but she will have to make it and fare well at next year's nationals first.

Again, her mother is right behind her.

"It's very feasible," said Roslind, who also coaches at Flying Angels. "She may be very shy, but she's very determined. If she wants something she's going to go out there and do what she has to do to get it."

Flying Angeles head coach Earl Letford, who has helped guide Emmanuel since she joined the club in 2009, sees it the same way.

"She's very focused, dedicated and hard working," he said, pointing out that she's also a great mentor to the younger runners at the club.