Whitehorse’s Jessica Frotten hangs out next to the track at the World Para Athletics Championships in London, England on July 15. Frotten placed sixth in the women’s 200-metre. (Yonathan Kellerman/Athletics Canada)

Jessica Frotten reaches new high at para worlds in London

Whitehorse para wheelchair racer takes sixth in 200-metre

Whitehorse’s Jessica Frotten has set herself a new high water mark on the world stage.

The para wheelchair racer sped to a career-best sixth place finish at the World Para Athletics Championships this week in London, England.

“It wasn’t my best race, but it wasn’t my worst,” said Frotten in a message to the News. “It was good to get one out of the way…. The atmosphere is crazy here. The stadium is so loud! It’s unreal. I’ve never been in anything like it.”

Frotten took sixth place in the women’s 200-metre T53 final with a time of 31.81 seconds on July 15.

She roared over the finish line behind American Kelsey Lefevour and ahead Canadian teammate Ilana Dupont. Great Britain’s Samantha Kinghorn set a world record of 28.61 in the event.

Frotten also logged a lamentable first in London, which marks her second world championship. The 29-year-old was disqualified in the 400-metre following the semifinal on July 18.

“I had a great race in the semi. Good start, strong finish. I qualified for the final on time, but when I was looking at the results later in the day it said I had been disqualified,” said Frotten. “The team managers looked into it and I was disqualified for a lane violation. You are not allowed to touch the inside lane line in the corner and I touched in the first corner — heartbreaking! The 400 is my favourite race and I was out of it for a silly mistake.”

Frotten made two finals at the 2015 world championships in Qatar, placing seventh in the 200-metre and eighth in the 100-metre.

Frotten, who also raced for Canada at the 2015 Parapan American Games, has two more events in London with the 100- and 800-metre events on July 23, the final day of competition.

“I’m looking forward and focused on those next races,” said Frotten. “All in all worlds have been great so far. A tough lesson to learn in the 400, but I’m not going to dwell on it.”

Frotten won four medals at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Ottawa, July 3-9. She captured gold in the 200- and 800-metre events — the same two events in which she won her first national titles in 2013. Frotten, who races for the Saskatoon Cyclones, also bagged silver in the 1,500 and the 400 at the start of the month.

The Whitehorse-born athlete secured a spot on the worlds team with exceptional performances at three consecutive meets in Switzerland in May and June.

Frotten set her first Canadian record at the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial on May 25 in Arbon. She placed seventh in the 800-metre with a Canadian record time of 1:58.30.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Jessica Frotten

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Jessica Frotten speeds into a turn during the 400-metre on July 18. (Yonathan Kellerman/Athletics Canada)

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