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I’m currently writing from my flight home from Mexico City where the Pan American Pentathlon Championships were held July 17-20, 2014. What a fantastic event held by the Mexican Pentathlon Federation, partnering with the Festival Deportivo and hosted by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).

Given that this competition was where Team Canada secured spots for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games next summer, there was an extra incentive beyond my personal success to do well.  TO2015 is where 5 golden tickets to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for our continent can be earned, so securing our Canadian spots for next summer was vital.

I arrived early in Mexico City to acclimatize to the altitude.  After a few days of resting and tuning up for the event, I was ready and eager to compete.

Winning the fence placed me exactly where I wanted to be to start the day. Swimming was a bit painful at the high altitude of Mexico City, but after 2 riding clinics in the past month, I had no doubts that I would ride competitively to keep me in the hunt. The combined event was an exciting race where I finished just 5 seconds behind the winner, Yane Marques from Brazil to claim the silver medal. What a day!

The Canadian women’s team as a whole had a strong showing and we were able to secure our maximum participation for TO2015 at 2 spots. Mission accomplished.

A day of rest on Saturday with some site-seeing in Mexico City and cheering on the men’s team provided an adequate recharge as I got ready to compete in the Mixed Relay event with my long-time friend, teammate and fellow Olympian Joshua Riker-Fox. After the two of us won the fence in our individual events earlier in the weekend, we maintained that momentum in winning the fencing discipline together on Sunday. And that, my friends, is where we stayed all day.  We were quick in the water, skillful in the ride and untouchable in the combined event, leading start to finish. With our gold medal around our necks, we sang “Oh Canada” on the podium and celebrated with our team that evening.

Coaches John Hawes and Rick Maynard guided us through the event all weekend and were key in helping us to keep the nerves at bay and our focus on point.

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The Pan American Championships are always my favourite event of the year. Not only was it an excellent competition, but also a pleasure to catch up with many sporting friends. This was also a timely tune-up leading into the 2014 Senior World Championships in Warsaw, Poland (September 1-9, 2014).

The next few weeks ahead see some hard training days and the Canadian National Championships August 1-3 in Guelph, ON before I head off to Europe for the finale of 2014.

Back to the grind!

It’s been a busy few weeks since the launch of melaniemccann.ca and I’m excited to be able to share my pentathlon experience with you. Please feel free to share my new site with your networks as  the more the merrier, I say.

Keep on keep’n on, friends,
Mel

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