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Canada's Priscilla Lopes-Schliep celebrates after winning the silver medal in the final of the women's 100m hurdles in Berlin on Wednesday. ((David J. Phillip/Associated Press))

Priscilla Lopes-Schliep earned Canada's first medal, a silver, at the world track and field championships in Berlin on Wednesday.

The Whitby, Ont., native ran in 12.54 seconds in the 100-metre hurdles final to improve on her bronze-medal performance at the Beijing Olympics last year.

"It's crazy, I am still trying to let it soak in and let it settle in my mind," she told CBC Sports. "I had a hard time sleeping last night.

"I am really excited and pleased to win for Canada and proud to be a role model for the younger generation," she added.

The gold medal was won by 34-year-old Brigitte Foster-Hylton in 12.51 seconds. The Jamaican had previously won silver and bronze at the worlds.

Lopes-Schliep, who turns 27 later this month, won a medal despite enduring an unusual delay after the semifinals earlier in the day.

Canadian duo head-to-head

 Name  Final - time in seconds  Semifinal  Qualifier
 Priscilla Lopes-Schliep  12.54  12.60  12.56
 Perdita Felicien  15.53  12.58  12.77

Shortly after speaking to CBC Sports following her semifinal run, Lopes-Schliep was taken by an IAAF representative into doping control, a highly unusual development given the time span of less than three hours between the semis and the final.

"I said on the way to the warmup track, 'Listen, I have a race to prepare for and I know you are doing your job but I am here to race,'" said Lopes-Schliep. "The girl didn't understand. There was as bit of a language barrier. I was a little angry but I got it done and I got a silver."

Jamaica's Delloreen Ennis-London won bronze. She, too, won a third world championship medal in the event, following up on bronze and silver in previous years.

It was a disappointing race for Canadian Perdita Felicien, who stumbled out of the blocks and clipped the second hurdle. She finished eighth.

The Pickering, Ont., athlete was looking for her third world championship medal after previously capturing gold and silver. She did not participate in the Beijing Games because of a foot injury.

"I get bad breaks now and then," said Felicien. "In warmup [my coach] said, 'You are so ready to run, so ready to break the national record.'

"But you have got to be ready to walk the walk and I didn't do that tonight."

Felicien, who turns 29 in a few weeks, said she was happy for Lopes-Schliep and Foster-Hylton.

"The plan is to continue to compete the rest of the season, I am in great shape," she said. "The girls should enjoy this night. I have been in this situation before."

Beijing Olympics gold medallist Dawn Harper of the United States was seventh, with Beijing silver winner Sally McLellan of Australia fifth.

The event is arguably the most competitive currently going in track and field.

Two-time defending world champion Michelle Perry of the United States was eliminated in the heats, while top hurdlers Susanna Kallur of Sweden and American Lolo Jones weren't in Berlin. Kallur is nursing a stress facture while Jones crashed out at the U.S. national championships earlier this summer.

Women's 200 heats

Adrienne Power of East Jeddore, N.S., finished sixth in her 200-metre heat on Wednesday, failing to qualify for the semifinals.

Allyson Felix of the United States and Veronica Campbell-Brown each won their heats and could be poised for yet another showdown in the final.

Campbell-Brown and Felix have finished 1-2 in the last three biggest events at 200. The Jamaican was the Olympic champion in 2004 and 2008, with Felix taking the world championship in 2007.

Felix was also the 2005 champion, with Campbell-Brown fourth on that occasion.

The semifinals take place on Thursday, with the final the next day.

Other medal contenders also moved on, as expected:

  • Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Trinidad.
  • Simone Facey, Jamaica.
  • Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Bahamas.
  • Yulia Gushchina, Russia.
  • Marshevet Hooker, United States.
  • Muna Lee, United States.
  • ChaRonda Williams, United States.
  • Tameka Williams, St. Kitts and Nevis.