A local sprinter will be wearing the maple leaf later this month.
Jordan Soufi, a recent graduate from Miles Macdonell Collegiate, will run the 100-metre for Team Canada at the upcoming U20 Pan American Games in San Jose, Costa Rica July 19 to 21.
"It’s an honour to be selected for Team Canada," Soufi said. "It’s an amazing feeling."
The 18-year-old from North Kildonan recently won both the 100- and 200-metre varsity boys races for the second consecutive year at the provincial high school track and field meet. Soufi currently holds the provincial record for the 100-metre with a time of 10.67 second electronic timing with a wind of 1.9 m/s and is among the top ranked U20 sprinters in Canada.
The trip south will be Soufi’s first international competition representing Canada. Soufi will run in the 100-metre and the 4x100-metre relay.
"I never really thought about it until I saw my 10.67 time," Soufi admitted. "I just want to do my best. I’m not used to that level of competition, which is exciting but also nerve wracking."
He added that he will do some additional training for the relay when he gets to Costa Rica.
"I’m familiar with relays," he said. "In bigger meets we do them, but not regularly."
A former soccer player, Soufi started running track at John Henderson Junior High School. But it wasn’t until he made it to the finals in both the 100- and 200-metre races at the junior varsity level that he thought about training seriously. Since then, as a member of the Winnipeg Optimist Athletics Club, Soufi has been focused on improving as a sprinter.
"I always want to get better and better," he said. "At Optimist, it’s a good program. It’s well organized, for over all conditioning. It helps you throughout the season to improve."
In the fall, Soufi will continue his training, running with the University of Manitoba Bisons. He said he is looking forward to "training with people who are just as competitive as I am" at the U of M.
"That will help me run faster."
Community journalist — The Herald
Sheldon Birnie is the community journalist for The Herald Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7112