Monday, June 2, 2008

P.E.I. athlete heads to Olympics

P.E.I. athlete heads to Olympics

A Prince Edward Island pentathlon athlete will be going to the Olympic Games for the second time.

Kara Grant, from Stratford, will travel to Seoul, South Korea on Aug. 8 for eight days of training. She will then travel to Beijing to compete in the modern pentathlon on Aug. 21.

During a recent competition in Madrid, Grant, 28, received one of the best scores of her career in fencing, which is one of the components of modern pentathlon.

In 2004, Grant competed in the Olympic Games in Athens, where she placed 22nd.

Grant first became involved in pentathlon after years of equestrian training. In 1996, she won the Canadian Junior National Pentathlon title. Since then Grant has won five Senior National Championships.

In 2006 Grant had her best result at the World Championships, where she finished 9th. She said her goal is to achieve gold at the upcoming Olympic Games.

In modern pentathlon, athletes compete in five different events — fencing, shooting, swimming, riding and cross-country running.

Islander returning to Olympic Games
Kara Grant makes Canadian modern pentathlon team for Beijing

The Guardian

Kara Grant is going back to the Olympic Games.

The Stratford native will be officially named to the Canadian modern pentathlon team later this month.

Grant earned a spot on the national team following her performance at the world championships in Hungary on the weekend.

She will join Monica Pinette of Langley, B.C., as the Canadian women on the team which will compete in Beijing this summer.

“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to compete once again at the Olympic Games and challenge myself against the best athletes in the world at the premier sporting event of the world," Grant told The Guardian in an e-mail on Monday.

“I plan to use my experiences in Athens at the Olympic Games and over the last 12 years as a pentathlon competitor to prepare for the performance of a lifetime in Beijing."

Modern pentathlon combines the skills of shooting, fencing, swimming, equestrian and running.

Joshua Riker-Fox is the Canadian male to be selected for the Beijing Games.

“Pinette, Riker-Fox and Grant have qualified for Beijing,” said Angela Ives, president of the Canadian Modern Pentathlon Association.

“This is the largest field of pentathletes that Canada has qualified since Barcelona in 1992.”

At the world championship, Grant placed 26th with 3,752 points after four events while Pinette was 11th, the best result for Canada since Lyne Chornobrywy won the world individual women in 1983.

Neither Canadian advanced past the semifinal heat.

The Canadian modern pentathlon team for Beijing will be officially named later in June. Pinette and Grant are the only Canadian females who have met the Olympic standards.

They were the first Canadian women to compete in the Olympic Games in modern pentathlon when they participated in 2004 at Athens.

Pinette placed 13th and Grant finished 22nd.

At the Beijing Olympics, a total of 72 athletes (36 women and 36 men) will compete in modern pentathlon.


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