Staehli to represent Canada again, this time in Serbia
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Lucknow native Julie-Anne Staehli will represent Canada at the 2022 World Indoor Championship, set to be held in Belgrade, Serbia next weekend. She will compete in the 3,000-metre race.
In an Instagram post, Staehli said that qualifying for the team had been one of her goals for a number of years.
She did say, however, that the events taking place in the rest of the world have weighed heavily on her as she awaited an announcement on the team selection.
“Over the last couple of weeks, I have been quietly waiting for this announcement while watching the tragedy unfold overseas. This championship feels insignificant with what has been happening in the world, but I was reminded that sport has the power to bring people together,” she said. “The Olympic rings represent the five continents of the world. On March 18, I not only want to represent the maple leaf, but all those fighting for peace and solidarity.”
This will be the first time the championship has been held in four years. The bi-annual event was last held in 2018 after the 2020 iteration was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staehli is among 18 athletes who are classified as confirmed selections, 11 of whom are from Ontario. A number of competitors have also been provisionally selected. The team is headlined by Canadian record holders Damian Warner and Gabriela DeBues-Stafford.
At the 2018 event, the Canadian team won just one medal, so participants will be looking to improve upon that total this year, as the event is set for March 18-20.
The women’s 3,000-metre race is set to be held on the first day of the championships, with the heats going ahead at 1:30 p.m. local time on March 18, 7:30 a.m. in Huron County. The finals are set for later that day at 8:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. in Huron County.
Staehli specializes in the 5,000-metre race and represented Canada in the event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which were eventually held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). She finished the race in 17th place with a time of 15:33.39. She was ranked 20th in the world heading into the Olympics, so her finish improved upon that ranking.