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Canadian heptathlete Zelinka needs big finale for a medal

Canada's Jessica Zelinka competes in the women's heptathlon Group B long jump event during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS

Jessica Zelinka's medal hopes remain alive - albeit just barely.

The Canadian heptathlete is in eighth place after six events, setting up an 800 metre race on Saturday night in which she'll have to put up a huge time to sneak into bronze.

Zelinka's first two events on Saturday came with mixed results, as she threw a personal best in the javelin but struggled with a long jump of only 5.91 metres.

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With 5,503 points, the 30-year-old from London, Ont., is well off the first place mark of 5,971 set by Great Britain's Jessica Ennis, who has won gold and silver at recent world championships and appears a lock for her first Olympic medal.

Zelinka trails the bronze medal position by 198 points, which will be difficult to make up in one event, although her overall personal best of 6,599 looks like it would put her close to the podium.

Points are awarded based on times, with 1,000 points in the 800 metres set at a time of 2:07.63. Zelinka ran a 2:07.95 in Beijing when she finished fifth overall and a 2:12.62 at the world championships last year to finish ninth.

One of Canada's few multi-even athletes, she will also compete in the women's 100 metre hurdles next week in London.

Canadian teammate Brianne Theisen of Humboldt, Sask., sits 14th.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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