2019 PAN AMERICAN GAMES Ten Canadians to watch in Peru

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports -

The Pan American Games won’t fea­ture all of Canada’s top 2020 Olympians, but some Tokyo medal con­tenders are sure to be com­pet­ing in Lima, Peru.

The Games also in­clude some top ath­letes in non-Olympic sports.

With the first full day of events go­ing Saturday, here is a look at 10 Canadians to watch at the Games:

DAMIAN WARNER

The de­cath­lete from Lon­don, Ont., be­came the third ath­lete to win five ca­reer ti­tles at the pres­ti­gious Gotzis Hypo-Meet­ing ear­lier this year in Aus­tria.

Warner won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, sil­ver at the 2015 world cham­pi­onships and gold at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.

ALYSHA NEW­MAN

The pole vaulter from Lon­don has bro­ken her own Canadian record twice in the last two months.

New­man was side­lined for almost the en­tire 2018 sea­son with a knee injury after cap­tur­ing gold at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Aus­tralia.

EVAN DUNFEE

The na­tive of Rich­mond, B.C., fin­ished fourth in the 50-kilo­me­tre race walk at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

De­spite miss­ing the podium, Dunfee’s fourth-place fin­ish was one of Canada’s big­gest sto­ries in Rio. He was up­graded to bronze after be­ing jos­tled by Hirooki Arai of Ja­pan.

Arai ap­pealed, bump­ing Dunfee to fourth, and the Canadian opted not to file a counter-appeal, say­ing in a state­ment: “I will never al­low my­self to be de­fined by the ac­co­lades I re­ceive, rather the in­tegrity I carry through life.”

SHAWN DeLIERRE

The 37-year-old Montreal squash player is com­pet­ing in his fourth Pan Am Games. He an­chored the Canadian men’s team to gold four years ago at home.

DeLierre reached a ca­reer-high of No. 35 in the world rankings in 2013.

PHYLI­CIA GE­ORGE

The runner from Markham, Ont., has com­peted in Sum­mer (track) and Win­ter (bob­sled) Olympics. She cap­tured bronze in Pyeongchan­g in 2018 with Kail­lie Humphries.

Ge­orge, 31, has made the fi­nal of the 100-me­tre hur­dles at the past two Sum­mer Games.

MATHEA OLIN

The 16-year-old surfer from Tofino, B.C., com­petes in a sport mak­ing its Pan Am de­but this year and its Olympic kick­off the fol­low­ing year.

Olin won gold and bronze in Lima at the 2017 Pan Am Surf Games, mark­ing Canada’s first in­ter­na­tional medals in the sport.

CRISPIN DUENAS

The 33-year-old archer from Scar­bor­ough, Ont., is a three-time Olympian.

Duenas had his best in­di­vid­ual Olympic fin­ish in 2016 in Rio, plac­ing 17th. He has two sil­ver medals from pre­vi­ous Pan Am Games.

EL­LIE BLACK

The gym­nast from Hal­i­fax was the most dec­o­rated Canadian ath­lete from the Toronto Pan Am Games, win­ning five medals (three gold, one sil­ver, one bronze).

Black be­came the first Canadian to win an all-around medal at the world cham­pi­onships in 2017 in Montreal, cap­tur­ing sil­ver.

That came one year after plac­ing fifth at the Olympics, Canada’s best-ever fin­ish in the event.

MICHELLE LI

The bad­minton player from Markham is the reign­ing Pan Am sin­gles cham­pion.

Li was part of the ‘Bruce Li’ dou­bles team (with Alexan­dra Bruce) that fin­ished fourth at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics.

The team was re­in­stated when four teams were ex­pelled from the Games for los­ing matches on pur­pose.

The 27-year-old is in the top 20 in the world rankings.

JEN­NIFER ABEL

The diver from Laval, Que., be­came the most dec­o­rated Canadian ath­lete in world aquat­ics cham­pi­onship his­tory when she earned a sil­ver with Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu in the women’s three-me­tre syn­chro­nized event ear­lier this month in Gwangju, South Korea.

Abel, 27, now has nine medals at the worlds.

She’ll be look­ing to re­turn to the Olympic podium next year after two fourth-place show­ings in 2016.

CP PHOTO

Phyli­cia Ge­orge leads the pack dur­ing the women’s 100 me­tre hur­dles at the Harry Jerome In­ter­na­tional Track Clas­sic in Burn­aby on June 20.

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