By Diana Foxall
What has been a whirlwind of a season for Victoria Tachinski finally came to a close at the Canada Summer Games on Friday.
The Manitoban middle-distance dynamo wrapped up her dominant season on the track by medalling in all the events she entered in her hometown of Winnipeg, following a successful trip to Peru for the Pan Am U20 Championships.
Tachinski took gold in the 800m at Pan Ams in 2:04.22, just off her personal best of 2:03.58, the Canadian record for junior-aged athletes. She came back from Peru with another medal in the women’s 4x400m relay – one she ended up matching in Winnipeg.
While competing at home has its benefits and its drawbacks for athletes, Tachinski wasn’t fazed.
“I think [the pressure to win at home] was a good pressure – it was a pressure that really got me motivated and made me really hungry to want the win,” – and win she did.
Following an easy victory in her preliminary heat on Monday at the Games – a multi-event competition for amateur athletes – Tachinski’s first final was the women’s 400m on Thursday, where she won the gold in 54.04. (Her PB is 53.37, also a Canadian U20 record.)
“It went super well – I’m super excited about the result,” she said after the race. “Competing here at home, being able to have a home crowd and all my friends and family come out, it’s been amazing.”
“I tried to block [the noise down the back stretch] out, but in moments like that, it’s really hard to because it’s just so loud and so incredible,” she said.
Friday saw the finals of the women’s 800m and the 4x400m relay, and it was double-silver for the Penn State recruit.
Tachinski lead the field for nearly the entire race in the 800m, but lost the battle down the homestretch to Julie Labach of Saskatchewan, placing second in 2:06.81 to Labach’s 2:06.62.
“It felt tough, especially after the 400m yesterday, so I was definitely feeling it in my legs but I’m still really happy with the outcome,” she said, also stating that recovery was a key priority after the 800m in order to bounce back quickly for the relay a few hours later.
Team Manitoba (athletes represent their province at the Games) was in fifth coming into the anchor leg, but Tachinski was able to power past three competitors to secure a second-place finish. She made up more than 50m on the field to secure the silver, one of Tachinski’s three-medal haul for the CSG.
“I really wanted that medal, and I knew I had the strength to catch her, so I used everything I had left in me,” the Winnipegger said.
Victoria Tachinski anchors Team Manitoba to a silver medal after a heroic comeback after being roughly 100 metres back on the final lap.
— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) August 5, 2017
The summer has been busy for her, but Tachinski wouldn’t trade the experiences she’s had in the past several weeks.
“It’s just been the best two weeks of my life,” she said. “It’s been super hectic and super busy, and I’ve been all over the place, but I’m doing what I love, I’m running, and competing is my favourite thing ever.”