May 21, 2015
Toronto (May 21, 2015) — On Thursday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Pentathlon Canada announced the athletes nominated to represent Team Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games from July 10 to 26.
Five athletes have been selected to compete in the modern pentathlon competition and include: London 2012 Olympians, Melanie McCann and Donna Vakalis; Beijing 2008 Olympian, Joshua Riker-Fox; Hillary Elliott and Garnett Stevens. Alternates include: Mathea Stevens and Evin Ballantyne.
Leading the team will be 2012 Olympian, Melanie McCann, whose 11th place finish in London was the best-ever Olympic result by a Canadian modern pentathlete. She came 4th at Guadalajara 2011 to qualify for the Olympic berth. Overall, Canada has won four medals in modern pentathlon at the Pan Am Games including two silver and two bronze.
Modern pentathlon consists of five events conducted over a single day: fencing (épée), swimming (200m freestyle), equestrian (jumping), running, and shooting. Athletes earn points in the first three events (fencing, swimming, equestrian) after which their total point differentials are converted into time handicaps to determine the start order and time intervals for the combined running/shooting segment. In this final leg, athletes shoot at targets with laser pistols in four series separated by 800m runs in an exciting chase. The first athlete across the finish line wins.
The modern pentathlon competition will take place at the Pan Am Aquatics Centre July 18–19, with two events: women’s individual and men’s individual.
Canada will field the largest team in its Pan American Games history with more than 700 athletes expected to be named to the Team at the Games in Toronto. With TORONTO 2015 providing a “home Games” experience, as well as a number of qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, these Games will provide a tremendous experience for Canada’s high performance athletes.
“Congratulations to the athletes who made it onto the modern pentathlon team. With superstars like Melanie McCann leading such a talented group, Canada is ready to show the Americas what they are made of in Toronto this summer.”
— Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee
“I’m always impressed with modern pentathlon athletes as it requires such a unique and diverse set of talents. Congratulations to the squad nominated by Pentathlon Canada today. I hope to see our fans support these incredible athletes when they perform in the Golden Horseshoe this summer.”
— Curt Harnett, TORONTO 2015 Team Canada Chef de Mission
“I am looking forward to the Games in Toronto this July with great anticipation. The team being named today is among one of the strongest group of pentathletes that Canada has sent to any Pan Am Games.”
— John Hawes, National Team Coach
“It is such an honour to be representing Canada along with my teammates on home soil. We will do everything in our power to show the Americas why Canada is a force to be reckoned with.”
— Melanie McCann, London 2012 Olympian, Guadalajara 2011 Pan Am Games athlete
“Congratulations to these remarkable athletes, who have mastered the five challenging disciplines and will compete for Canada as modern pentathletes. Your hard work has paid off, and we look forward to seeing you represent Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games.”
— The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)
The modern pentathlon contingent who will represent Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Games are:
Prior to being named to the final Canadian Pan American Team, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations towards the end of June 2015.