Champion sprinter Nigel Navaratnarajah
Published Thursday, June 7, 2012 1:33PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 7, 2012 1:37PM EDT
MONTREAL — It's an anxious moment for most sprinters, getting ready to explode from the starting blocks, but this is what Nigel Navaratnarajah lives for.
"Of my whole life, the best part is when I'm in my blocks waiting for the starter to give me a start," said Navaratnarajah.
He's a provincial champion this year in the 60 meter indoor sprint and last year he won a bronze outdoors in the 200 metres and a silver in the 100 metres, all that despite suffering from shin splints. Navaratnarajah took up track four years ago and say he is surprised by his success.
"I knew I was fast, but not at a provincial level, not with such a big potential," said Navaratnarajah.
Jean-Michel Seguin, his coach and phys-ed teacher, helped him discover his talent and translate it to the track.
"We had some physical tests going on in school shuttle races, standing long jump, high jump and with everything at that point we discovered that he was very explosive and quick," said Seguin.
His parents came to Canada from Sri Lanka over 20 years ago. They're proud of their son's accomplishments but don't always get to share in them. Navaratnarajah says he has trouble staying focused when they watch him race, so he has asked them not to come to his track meets.
His parents have their own ideas.
"He thinks that he feels pressure more pressure when we are here and he has to win. So we always sneak in and watch him," said Navaratnarajah's father, Rohan.
The student trains four days a week and still maintains a 95 per cent average in school, he hopes his marks and speed will earn him a university scholarship.