TORONTO -- If there were any doubts about Nikkita Holder's Olympic worthiness, they were put to rest Wednesday night in downtown Toronto.
The 25-year-old Pickering athlete topped a deep field and won the signature event, the 100-metre hurdles, before a near-capacity crowd at the NTL's Toronto International Track and Field Games at Varsity Stadium.
Holder, who grabbed the final Olympic berth for the 2012 London Games by finishing third in the hurdles at the national championships in Calgary, was thrilled afterward, especially given the company she was keeping.
In addition to sharing the moment with her fiance, sprinter Justyn Warner, Holder vindicated her inclusion on the Olympic team by beating the likes of Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, Perdita Felicien and Angela Whyte, all of whom have gone to the Olympics before, and Phylicia George, who will accompany her to London.
Afterward, her smile was not to be removed during a big media scrum.
"There are so many cameras ... Wooooo," she beamed, shortly before being hugged and kissed by Warner, who also won that night and will be competing in London in the 100-metre dash. "It feels great (to be going to London with Warner). It'll be a good experience and I'm glad I get to share it with him."
In earning her Olympic spot in Calgary, Holder actually finished fourth in a time of 12.80, but was bumped to third because Felicien was disqualified for a false start. Jessica Zelinka (12.68) and George (12.72) finished ahead of her there.
In Toronto Wednesday, Holder's time of 12.83 was good enough to beat Whyte (12.90), George (12.95), Lopes-Schliep (12.95) and Felicien (12.97). Of the country's Big 6, only Zelinka wasn't there.
Felicien, also of Pickering, while disappointed at not qualifying for her third Olympic Games, wished nothing but the best for the young Holder afterward.
"I think she'll do fabulously in London," said Felicien, who turns 32 in August and has ruled out further Olympics. "I think she's ready to strike and she's really coming into her own, and she's from Pickering, so you have to root for the hometown girl. I think she's going to go to London and really turn some heads."
Lopes-Schliep, who turns 30 in August and is 10 months removed from giving berth to her first child, said she just hasn't been able to put it all together at the right times this season, but hasn't ruled out competing four years down the road in Brazil.
The darling of the Beijing Games, where her bronze was Canada's first medal in athletics in a dozen years, Lopes-Schliep seemed comfortable enough being a fan this time around, particularly of Holder, a training partner.
"Not these Olympics for me, so I'll be at home and cheering on my teammates," she said.
Warner provided another of the night's many highlights, winning the 100m sprint in a time of 10.15, an event that also featured Pickering native and 2008 Olympian Anson Henry, who finished fifth in his final career race.
All told, there were 17 Canadian Olympians taking part at the National Track League event, including other winners Justin Rodhe in shot put, Sultana Frizell in the hammer throw, Curtis Moss in javelin, Melissa Bishop and Geoff Harris in the 800m runs, Jenna Martin in the 400m, Nate Brannen in the 1500m and Damian Warner in the 110m hurdles.
"It's awesome," Justyn Warner said afterward, referring to the National Track League, which also provides events for youth athletes. "I love running at home, I love running in front of the crowd.... It's great what they do for the Canadian athletes and all the young kids."