Home > The Scene

Toronto’s Jazz Shukla looks to seal worlds spot at 2023 Canadian Track and Field Championships

"I want to see what I can do in the 800m, and I feel the best has yet to come," says Shukla

JAzz Shukla Photo by: Athletepics.ca

As we approach the 2023 Canadian Track and Field Championships in Langley, B.C., one of the major storylines is in the women’s 800m. Jazz Shukla, a middle-distance star from Toronto, has been making waves in the 800m this season as she enters the championships as the top-ranked Canadian athlete, according to World Athletics rankings. On July 29, Shukla will be one of 30 athletes vying for the Canadian title in the 800m, where a win would solidify a spot on Team Canada for the upcoming 2023 World Championships in Budapest.

Jazz Shukla
Jazz Shukla at the 2023 BU Last Chance Meet at Boston University. Photo: Kevin Morris

Shukla did not expect to be in this position at the start of the season, but has embraced the opportunity. “My goal was to continue building on the progress I made last season,” she says. “I was just hoping to be in the mix for selection.”

The 24-year-old holds the second-fastest 800m time by a Canadian this season, with a clocking of 2:00.84 at the Portland Track Festival in June. With Team Canada’s world championship team selection on July 31, Shukla’s current world ranking of 49 would help her earn selection to her first senior world championship team.

Jazz Shukla and Corey Bellemore run to top-five finishes in B.A.A. Mile

Shukla’s journey in the 800m has been characterized by continuous growth. Last year, she ran her first 800m in a respectable time of 2:04.62 after a four-year hiatus, and later pushed herself further, clocking an impressive 2:01.98 at the 2022 Speed River Inferno in Guelph, Ont. Shukla has expressed her love for competing domestically on the Canadian circuit, cherishing the camaraderie with her training partners and friends. The joy of watching her teammates compete and raise the bar motivates her, fueling her passion for more.

Facing familiar competition can be both exciting and challenging, as Shukla notes. Knowing her competitors well, she believes she can surprise herself. “When you know everyone you’re racing against, it excites me,” says Shukla. “I can make good tactical decisions instead of focusing on time.”

Shukla says her coach Terry Radchenko has changed her mindset on training. “I have been very process-oriented this year; we want to be as consistent as possible with training and the work we’ve put in,” says Shukla. “In past years, I taped and glued training together and hoped for the best. Now I see growth from a training block rather than just one workout.”

Jazz Shukla
Shukla competing for the University of Toronto at the 2021 Bayfront Invitational in Hamilton, Ont. Photo: Kevin MacKinnon

Despite her swift rise to becoming one of Canada’s fastest female middle-distance runners, Shukla remains conservative in her outlook. “The hope has always been to break two minutes and improve my world ranking,” says Shukla. “I want to see what I can do in the 800, and I feel the best has yet to come.”

With her sights set on the world stage, there’s no doubt that Shukla will continue her breakthrough in the women’s 800m.

Shukla is one of many top Canadian athletes competing at the 2023 Canadian Track and Field Championships in Langley, B.C., beginning on July 27 and running until the 30th. You can view the full schedule of events at the championships here.

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

Best trail running gear for spring 2024

Explore our favourite trail running gear for short trips and longer treks, from watches to gaiters