24 OCT 2013 General News Toronto, Canada

Former World champion Perdita Felicien retires

Perdita Felicien celebrates winning gold in the 100m Hurdles at the 2003 IAAF World Championships (Getty Images)Perdita Felicien celebrates winning gold in the 100m Hurdles at the 2003 IAAF World Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright

Canada’s 2003 IAAF World Championships 100m Hurdles gold medallist Perdita Felicien officially announced her retirement on Thursday (24).

Felicien, 33, also won the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships 60m Hurdles gold medal and won silver medals at the 2007 World Championships and 2010 World Indoor Championships.

She announced her retirement at a special event in Toronto at George Webster Elementary School, in front of 300 children.

"The last 13 years racing for Canada have been the most formidable years of my life,” she explained to the crowd of wide eyed children, and throngs of friends, family and supporters.

"They were a sobering cocktail of triumph, heartbreak and perseverance. I always thought when my retirement came, that I would feel sad; instead I stand fiercely proud of all that I achieved and I feel a massive sense of honour in representing such a beautiful nation.

“I want to thank everyone who believed in me and cheered loudly, it was a thrilling ride, thanks for taking it with me," she added.

Following the announcement, Perdita talked to the children about the importance of a lifelong commitment to a healthy active lifestyle and about her experiences gained during decorated career.

Felicien retires as the current Canadian record holder in both the 100m Hurdles and 60m Hurdles indoors, with marks of 12.46 and 7.75, the latter coming when she won her World indoor title in Budapest.

She competed at all six IAAF World Championships between 2001 and 2011, and also won 10 national titles as well as representing Canada at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.

Athletics Canada for the IAAF