Jessica Zelinka

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Jessica Zelinka
Jessica Zelinka.jpg
Personal information
Born (1981-09-03) 3 September 1981 (age 38)
London, Ontario
ResidenceCalgary, Alberta
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight140 lb (64 kg)
ClubNew York Athletic Club
Now coachingLes Gramantik
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)Heptathlon: 6599 points NR, Calgary, 2012
Pentathlon: 4326, Regina, 2005
100 m hurdles: 12.65, London, 2012
Updated on July 2012.

Jessica Zelinka (born September 3, 1981 in London, Ontario) is a Canadian pentathlete, heptathlete, and 100 m hurdler. Her personal best score is 6599 points for the heptathlon. She was the gold medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games. Zelinka won silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and repeated her silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. At the 2012 Summer Olympics Zelinka finished in 6th overall in the heptathlon and 7th in the 100 m hurdles.


Zelinka first became interested in track and field in elementary school and competed in her first heptathlon at 16. She missed much of the 1999 outdoor season because of an illness.[1] Her first international competition was the 2000 IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics, where she was fifth in the heptathlon and also competed in the heats of the 100 meter hurdles. She missed most of the 2002 season due to a back and hamstring injury.[1] Zelinka's first major global outing came at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics and she finished in eleventh place. She just missed out on the medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games having finished in fourth place.

Regional success came at the 2007 Pan American Games as she fended off Gretchen Quintana, among others, to top the podium and take the gold medal. She set a new personal best and Canadian record points score for heptathlon, with 6343.[2] She was selected for the 2007 World Championships in Athletics, but did not compete.

Jessica Zelinka competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

She finished in fifth place at the 2008 Summer Olympics. This equalled the best place finish of a Canadian woman in a multi-events sport at the Olympics.[3] At the Beijing Olympics, she set a new Canadian record for heptathlon, with 6490 points.[4] After her Olympic appearance, she took the 2009 season off from competition and had a daughter with her partner Nathaniel Miller, a Canadian international in water polo.[5]

Building up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, she finished third in the heptathlon at the Décastar meeting in Talence, France. She earned a season's best total of 6204 points.[6] At the games Zelinka was battling the traveler's diarrhea that affected many athletes in Delhi. Despite the challenges she managed to finish a respectable second and win the silver. Though she did medal Zelinka admitted some disappointment as she had gone to Delhi to win gold.[7] Zelinka's medal was notable however as she just had a baby the previous year and had taken that season off and only returned to competition in 2010.[7]

As of 2012, Zelinka's coach is Les Gramantik.[8] During the 2012 Canadian Olympic trials for track and field, she set a new personal best, of 6599 points, and new Canadian record score for heptathletes, on 28 June 2012, besting her old personal best and Canadian record, set at the 2008 Olympics. This selected her for the 2012 London Olympics for heptathlon.[4] Two days later, she finished first in the 100 m hurdles, qualifying her for that event as well. She had considered foregoing it to concentrate on the heptathlon, but decided to compete in both events.[8] At the 2012 London Olympics, Zelinka finished 7th overall in both the Women's Heptathlon event and the 100 m hurdles.

Zelinka competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games following a couple years away from the sport, there she won silver behind teammate Brianne Theisen-Eaton.


Competition Venue Place Score
Athletics at the 2014 Commonwealth Games – Women's heptathlon Glasgow 2nd 6270
Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's heptathlon London 6th 6480
Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's 100 metres hurdles London 7th
Hypo-Meeting Götzis, Austria 5th 6353
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics Daegu, Korea 9th 6268
Décastar meeting Talence, France 4th 6296
2010 Commonwealth Games Delhi, India 2nd 6100
Décastar meeting Talence, France 3rd 6204
Canadian Track and Field Championships Windsor, ON - Canada 1st 6017
11th Meeting International d'Arles Arles - France 11th 5329
IAAF Combined Events Challenge Götzis - Austria 21st 6034
2008 Summer Olympic Games Beijing - China 4th 6490
2007 Pan American Games Rio de Janeiro - Brazil 1st 6136
World Combined Events Challenge Arles - France 2nd 6218
IAAF Combined Events Challenge Götzis - Austria 4th 6343
32nd Hypo-Meet Gotzis - Austria 4th 6314
9th Meeting International d'Arles France 1st 6314
2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne - Australia 4th 6213
31st Hypo-Meet Götzis - Austria 11th 6137
Canadian Track and Field Championships Winnipeg, MB - Canada 1st 5723
IAAF Arles - France 4th 6088
Canadian Track and Field Championships Victoria, BC - Canada 1st 5890
Décastar Talence - France 6th 5757
Canadian Track and Field Championships Victoria, BC - Canada 3rd 5716
Canadian Track and Field Championships Edmonton, AB - Canada 1st 5356
Toledo Invitational Toledo, OH - United States 1st 5423
Canadian Combined Junior Events Championships Windsor, ON - Canada 1st 5465
2000 IAAF World Junior Championships Santiago - Chile 5th 5688
Junior Multi-Event Dual Meet Dordrecht - Netherlands ? 5250



In 2012 Zelinka was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.[11]


  1. ^ a b 2006 Commonwealth Games, ZELINKA Jessica (accessed 2012)
  2. ^ Eduardo Biscayart (25 July 2007). "Barber takes 100m title with 11.02 – Pan American Games, Day 3". IAAF. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  3. ^ Canadian Press (16 August 2008). "Zelinka sets record en route to sixt". SportsNet. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b Mingo, Rita (29 June 2012). "Jessica Zelinka punches ticket to London in grand fashion". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  5. ^ Spencer, Donna (2011-06-23). Olympic pair ‘not easy on each other’. The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved on 2011-06-24.
  6. ^ van Kuijen, Hans (2010-09-19). Suarez and Chernova prevail in Talence - IAAF World Combined Events Challenge. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-09-19.
  7. ^ a b Randy Starkman (9 October 2010). "Heptathlete Jessica Zelinka goes the extra mile". Toronto Star. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  8. ^ a b Dave Feschuk (30 June 2012). "London 2012: Zelinka wins, Felicien and Lopes-Schliep fail to qualify at Olympic trials". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  9. ^ Athletics Canada:
  10. ^ "Jessica Zelinka - Athlete Profile". IAAF. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  11. ^ "One more time for the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal". James’ Brand New Blog. Retrieved 3 June 2017.

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