Canadian hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep has come a long way in just a few days.
The 29-year-old from Whitby, Ont., raced to a silver medal in the 100-metre hurdles at the Jamaica International Invitational on Saturday night, just her second major meet since becoming a mom seven months ago.
Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt won the 100 metres in 9.82.
Lopes-Schliep ran 12.64 seconds, four days after running 12.95 in her season-opener in Guadeloupe. Jamaican Brigitte Foster-Hylton won 12.51 to win.
“Tonight was a great experience here in Jamaica, my first time here and to run a 12.64, I'm more than happy,” Lopes-Schliep said. “I'm heading home (to Toronto) for a few days to see my daughter and husband then it will be off to Doha.”
Lopes-Schliep won bronze at the 2008 Olympics and was the No. 1-ranked hurdler in the world in 2010 before taking a season off to have her first child, daughter Nataliya. Her next meet is the Samsung Diamond League event in Doha, Qatar next Friday.
Lopes-Schliep has already achieved the Olympic A-plus standard, but must finish top-three amongst a stacked Canadian hurdles field at the Olympic trials next month in Calgary to book her ticket to the London Games.
“2012 is going to be a long season for all of us on tour and especially with nationals with five world-class girls on the line and only three spots for the Games,” she said. “I'm doing my best to be part of that team and am blessed to be running so well.”
Bolt's victory comes a month before Jamaica's Olympic trials. The crowd cheered wildly when he won in his first 100 of the year, giving him a standing ovation after the race that had two false starts. The time was the fastest in the world this year.
“It's always a joy,” Bolt said. “I was very happy to come here and see all the people who came out.”
The crowd included the Caribbean country's prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller.
Even before the race, the confident Bolt got the hometown crowd going with a quick “To Di World” pose, in which he points to the sky as if he's about to shoot an arrow into the sky.
In the Beijing Olympics four years ago, Bolt won gold medals and set world records in the 100 and 200 and helped Jamaica win and set a world record in 400 relay.
Jamaica's Michael Frater was second in 10.00.
American Carmelita Jeter won the women's 100 in 10.81, the best time in the world this season.
American Bershawn Jackson won the 400 hurdles in 48.73 seconds, and Ben Bruce dominated the 3,000 steeplechase, finishing in 8:34.17 to beat fellow American Donnie Cowart.
- with files from The Associated Press.