On Wednesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Pentathlon Canada named the two athletes nominated to represent Team Canada in modern pentathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from August 5 to 21.
The two athletes are London 2012 Olympians Melanie McCann and Donna Vakalis. The team is coached by John Hawes, Rick Maynard and Paul ApSimon, with support from physiotherapist Jaime Trick.
Vakalis earned her Olympic spot with her fourth place finish at the 2015 Pan American Games. McCann qualified through the world ranking list thanks to strong performances at the 2016 UIPM World Championships, the 2016 Pan American Championships and the first World Cup stop of the season in Cairo, Egypt.
Modern pentathlon is an exciting sport that requires athletes to execute skill and athleticism in five very different disciplines: fencing (one-touch épée bouts against all other competitors), swimming (200m freestyle), equestrian jumping, and finishing with the combined running-shooting event. The combined event starts with laser pistol shooting followed by an 800m run which is repeated a total of four times. Competitors are seeded for the combined start based on their total score from the first three disciplines. This results in a thrilling finish where the first competitor across the finish line wins the gold medal.
The team will be fitting in a final preparation in Curitaba, Brazil in early August prior to relocating to Rio for the Games.
The women’s modern pentathlon competition begins with the ranking round for fencing on August 18 at the Youth Arena. August 19 is the second day of competition, starting with the 200m swim at the Deodoro Aquatics Centre. Competitors then move to the Deodoro Stadium for the fencing bonus round and equestrian jumping before finishing the day with the combined running-shooting event.
At Rio 2016, Canada expects to field a team of more than 315 athletes.
Pentathlon Canada governs the sport of modern pentathlon in Canada, supporting our provincial associations and national team athletes in building a supportive environment for our sport.
The modern pentathlon team which will represent Canada at Rio 2016 includes:
Melanie McCann, Mount Carmel, ON
Donna Vakalis, Toronto, ON
Fencing Coach - Paul ApSimon, Ottawa, ON
National Coach - John Hawes, Ottawa, ON
Equestrian Coach - Rick Maynard, Vancouver, BC
Physiotherapist - Jaime Trick, Ottawa, ON
Prior to being named to the final Canadian Rio 2016 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.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Olympic Committee | Olympic.ca