Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/7/2016 (2126 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It’s been a monumental year for Winnipeg’s Victoria Tachinski — a remarkable feat given it’s only July.
Tachinski, 17, capped off her first World U20 Track and Field Championships in Poland last week with a bronze in the 4x400-metre relay, holding off the Germans as the anchor of Team Canada.
Earlier in the week, Tachinski reached another goal, making the final of the 800-metre race, where she finished sixth.
"Just being in Poland and seeing the diversity of all of the athletes, it really felt like the Olympics," said Tachinski, who holds Canadian indoor youth records for the 300-metre, 400-metre and 600-metre events. "It was very emotional. I was so tired, which meant I knew I gave it my all."
Earlier this year, Tachinski set the Canadian youth record in the 800-metre in June at the Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville, Tenn., with a time of 2:03.56 — a record previously held by Winnipeg-born Carly Paracholski.
The Olympics, specifically Tokyo 2020, is the goal for Tachinski and her longtime coach, Andy Tough. Tachinski began training with Tough in Grade 3.
"Her progression has been great," said Tough, who coaches locally at running club Stride Ahead Tough Track. "She’s very tenacious, confident and dedicated to training."
Tachinski said the love for the sport came instantaneously when she first stepped on to the track nine years ago.
"I knew that I found my passion in life," Tachinski told the Free Press from Poland last week. "Track is my favourite sport, but it is so much more than just a sport to me.
"When I started track, I’d run every race from 60 metres to 800 metres. But as I grew older, I enjoyed running the 400 metres and 800 metres. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I decided to focus more on the 800 metres for the year."
Former Olympian Jeff Powell, who is general manager at Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba, said they look for athletes who will continue to grow and continue to want to learn and get better.
Their conclusion on Tachinski?
"The world is her oyster at this point," Powell said.
Powell said part of that process is determining how athletes will confront adversity when it pops up during their career. The term they use is grittiness.
"It tells a lot about an athlete and how successful they will be," he said. "We do a lot of work on making them more fit and stronger, but it ultimately comes down to the nature of the athlete and their ability to respond to persistently difficult times while still getting better."
Powell said Tachinski is already running times a 22-year-old hits, but that doesn’t necessarily make her an Olympic medallist.
"It’s if she can continue to progress through the various stages," he said. "But the performances she’s putting up right now are exceptional. They’re excellent."
Tachinski’s next four years will be hectic. She has one more year at Vincent Massey Collegiate before deciding on which NCAA college she will attend. There’s plenty of interest already — including a couple of full-ride offers on the table — and Tachinski will be visiting colleges this fall.
"It prepares you a lot more, and there’s a lot more competition than in Canada," she said.
Tachinski has two more years of junior eligibility, giving her another shot at the 800-metre crown in 2018 in Finland.
"Those are my two big opportunities to help prepare myself for hopefully making the Olympic team," she said.