Isabelle Pedersen is a fast-rising athletics talent from Norway. At such a young age, Pedersen has won several major age-group titles, the most notable of which are the World Youth and World Junior crowns in the 100m hurdles. In 2009, the Norwegian edged out two American athletes to win the U18 100m hurdles (0.765m) gold, stopping the clock in 13.23s. In Moncton the following year, and competing against older, U20 athletes this time, the compact sprint hurdler again won gold. Her time of 13.30s over the 0.838m barriers was a national junior record.
Click here to view Trans World Sport’s feature on Isabelle
In the women’s event where the barriers are lower, speedsters tend to get away with glaring technical flaws, relying more on their flat out speed than hurdling form. At such as young age, the Pedersen has developed a fundamentally-sound hurdling technique, comparable to her older compatriot, Christina Vukicevic. To date, Pedersen’s personal best stands at 13.21s – a national junior record and six-hundredths of a second off the Daegu World Championships standard.
Her ebullient personality on the track and the sheer enjoyment she exudes in her races highlight Pedersen’s love for the event. She is every inch the happy hurdler – and happy hurdlers, epitomized by Liu Xiang himself (and most recently, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde) are formidable competitors.
As the World Youth and World Junior Champion matures physically and psychologically, the prospects of success in the senior ranks look bright.
Pedersen takes time to answer this blog’s 10-for-10 feature:
1. How did you get started with athletics?
When I was younger my mom thought I had ADHD, but it turned out I was just a girl with a lot of energy. Doing sports was therefore an easy choice. My first meeting with athletics was at the age of ten. I walked by some teenagers training and I was fascinated by the sport. I remember I asked my mom what kind of sport they were doing and she told me it was the same sport she did when she was younger. Since that day I knew athletics was the sport for me as well.
2. What’s the most memorable moment of your track career?
When I discovered that I have won the final [of the 2010] World junior championships. The last thing I remembered was the starting point, the rest [was] just black.
Click here to view the full results of the Moncton 2010 100m hurdles final
I had a dream to defend the gold medal from youth world championships the year before, but [I] never thought I’d make it. I was number 15 on the list before the championships started.
3. What’s your life-long dream?
I´m living it now, I’m living out my dream everyday. Track, hurdles [are] my passions. And the dream of everyone else, [to] become as good as possible.
4. Let’s lighten up a bit! What would you rather wear and why? Short shorts or tights?
Hehe, tights is the thing I guess.
5. If you could be a Glee cast member, who will you be? And what song will you sing?
Glee cast? Sorry, honestly I’ve no idea what that is…
6. How I Met Your Mother or F.R.I.E.N.D.S.?
Tricky… both are greats shows! Why choose when you can have both?
7. What’s the best pump-up song of all-time?
I have a new list every season, and there a no favorites, they are all part of the warm up.
8. If you could spend the rest of your days at any place in the world, which would you choose?
I haven´t raveled much to the big cities of Europe, but Paris has inspired me a lot. Would like to live in a city that inspires me as much as Paris to my last breath. Maybe I will movie back to my home town Bergen, I haven´t planned it yet!
9. Name three things you just can’t live without.
I think I will pass this one, I still have the world in front of me ;)
10. Who’s your athletics role model/idol?
I don’t have one. I’ve always just done it because it’s fun. Haha. But Susanna Kallur is a great hurdler.
Isabelle’s Twitter account (help her reach 1,000 followers!)
Isabelle’s All-Athletics Profile.