Hilary Stellingwerff
Hilary Stellingwerff

© Copyright – 2012 – Athletics Illustrated

London, Ontario’s Hilary Stellingwerff, who now resides in Victoria, BC, is competing in the 2012 London Olympic Games. She is coached by Guelph’s Dave Scott-Thomas. Stellingwerff will be competing in the 1500m distance event. She owns a personal best time of 4:05.08, which she achieved in the 2012 Rome Diamond League meet. Stellingwerff also ran to an 800m personal best time during 2012 finishing in 2:02.01.

Stellingwerff has competed for Canada on several occasions including the Commonwealth Games, World Track and Field Indoor Championships, World Track and Field Championships and the World Cross Country Championships once each. This is her first Olympics. She is now finishing up her pre-Olympic camp in Germany with the rest of team Canada. She is ready to race, she said, “I’m still in Germany at our training camp and leave for the Olympic village tomorrow. It’s been nice to chill out here without too much hype and just focus on training. But now I feel like there’s nothing left to do but race my butt off so I’m getting eager to get on that line!”

Along with reaching the final round as one of her goals, the Canadian record for the women’s 1500m distance is beginning to look dated, as it was set in 1985 by Lynn Williams. Williams’s Canadian record is 4:00.27. The world record is 3:50.46, current world leading time for 2012 is 3:57.77 and the Olympic record is 3:53.96. However, Stellingwerff  will be ready for any type of race, whether it will go out fast or require tactics, she said, “Training is going really well and I feel very ready to race the rounds and any kind of tactical situation that might entail. I’m focused on making that final and ready to pb!”

The women’s 1500m rounds start Wednesday, August 6th at 11:45 am GMT, which is 3:45 am PST and 6:45 am EST.

From the 2012 London Olympic Website:

Competition format

The competition starts with heats. The number of heats and the number of athletes progressing to the next round depends on the number of athletes competing. In each heat the fastest athletes go through, as well as a set number of the fastest losers across all the heats. The following rounds run on the same format, until eight athletes are through to compete in the final.

The draw to determine which heat athletes run in is decided by their initial seedings (based on previous performance) for the first round, and then their performances after that. This ensures that the highest seeded athletes are not drawn in the same heat.