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Canadian Lopes-Schliep wins bronze in first major track meet after pregnancy

05/01/2012 07:41 EDT | Updated 07/01/2012 05:12 EDT
GOSSIER, Guadeloupe - Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep won a medal on Tuesday in her first major track competition since becoming a mother.

Lopes-Schliep won bronze in the 100-metre hurdles in 12.95 seconds against a strong field at the Meeting de la Region de la Guadeloupe. The 29-year-old Whitby, Ont., native placed behind Americans Dawn Harper and Ginnie Crawford.

"I'm very happy with today's performance, I've never run this fast here and am looking forward to racing in Jamaica next week," said Lopes-Schliep, referring to the Jamaica International Invitational which begins May 5. "Each race brings me closer to my dream of making the Olympic team and representing Canada."

Lopes-Schliep's time was an Olympic A standard and the fastest by a Canadian this year.

Harper, the 2008 Olympic champion, took gold in 12.71 seconds, while Crawford was second in 12.87 seconds.

Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont., was fourth in 13.00 seconds, while Phylicia George, of Markham, Ont., was fifth in 13.11.

Lopes-Schliep is gunning for a gold medal in London after taking a year off to have her first child — daughter Nataliya, who's seven months old.

She won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games and was the world No. 1-ranked hurdler in 2010 and capped that season by claiming the prestigious Diamond League title before becoming pregnant.

She's raced once since Nataliya's birth, finishing second at an indoor meet in Sherbrooke, Que., that was meant just to get her back in racing mode.

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