Riker-Fox, McCann leading in standings at Canadian modern pentathlon national championships

    PORT COQUITLAM, BC, Aug. 23 /CNW/ - Alberta's Joshua Riker-Fox and
Melanie McCann of Ontario were leading in the senior divisions at the 37th
edition of the Canadian modern pentathlon national championships today after
the first two of five events were held. Equestrian riding and the shoot/run
events will be held this afternoon.
    Riker-Fox of Delacour, AB, had 2,253 points after placing third in
fencing with 20 wins and first in swimming in a time of two minutes and nine
one-hundredths of a second in the senior men's division. McCann of Parkhill,
ON, was the top senior woman with 2,049 points after placing first in fencing
with 23 wins and third in swimming with a time of 2:23.9 minutes.
    Twenty-five athletes from three countries are competing in the Canadian
modern pentathlon national championships today in Port Coquitlam, BC. Modern
pentathlon is comprised of five sports: fencing, swimming, equestrian riding,
and a combined run/shoot. All the events take place on the same day within a
10-hour time span.
    "Pentathlon is a sport where mental toughness and athletic ability are
crucial and the spectators have a front-row seat to these efforts today," said
Angela Ives, president of the Canadian Modern Pentathlon Association (CAMPA).
"We have a great range of athletes, such as Canadian Olympians, up and comers
in the sport under the age of 10 to one of our masters who is 52. We also have
competitors from the United States, Poland and across Canada here today."
    "It's great to see all the different levels of pentathletes and ages out
here competing," said Olympian Kara Grant, who recently finished sixth in the
new two-person event at the world modern pentathlon championships in London,
England. "Lots of hard work has gone into this and I'm happy to be a part of
that." Grant currently sits ninth out of 10 competitors in the senior women's
division today.
    The championships are scheduled to finish at approximately 6:30 pm
Pacific time this evening.

    About the Canadian Modern Pentathlon Association

    The Canadian Modern Pentathlon Association (www.pentathloncanada.ca) is
dedicated to developing high-performance athletes with a focus on competing at
the highest levels of international competitions.

    STANDINGS (after two events):

    Youth E Girls: Devon Cavaliere, Palm Desert, Calif, USA
    Youth D Girls: Emily Beckett, Maple Ridge, BC
    Youth B Girls: Erin Beckett, Maple Ridge, BC
    Youth B Boys: Kevin Waldie, Grande Prairie, AB
    Youth A Girls: Emily Caine, Red Deer, AB
    Youth A Boys: Garnett Stevens, Rockland, ON
    Junior Women: Melanie McCann, Parkhill, ON
    Junior Men: Christopher Pietruczuk, Szczecinek, Poland
    Senior Women: Melanie McCann, Parkhill, ON
    Senior Men: Joshua Riker-Fox, Delacour, AB
    Master Men: Bob Noble, Port Coquitlam, BC

    Fact sheet

    What is the Modern Pentathlon?

    Modern pentathlon was introduced as a new sport with the resurgence of
the modern Olympics in the early 1900s. Pierre de Coubertin (the founder of
the modern Olympics) selected pentathlon to mirror the ancient Greek
pentathlon, which consisted of running, javelin, discus, long jump, and
wrestling. The events chosen for modern pentathlon represent the diverse
attributes of a Napoleonic officer, including fitness (running and swimming),
control and concentration (shooting), agility and speed (fencing), and
determination, adaptability and courage (riding and jumping an unfamiliar
horse). Modern pentathlon is the only Olympic event that has had the
International Olympic Committee as its governing body.
    Modern pentathlon is five sports combined into four events, competed in
the span of one day. Athletes move from one event to the next with a short
break between. Pentathletes accumulate points in each event; the athlete with
the most points at the end of the day wins.

    Fencing - Modern pentathletes fence using an épée, which is a
sharp-pointed duelling sword with its end blunted. The target area is the
entire body from head to toe. Bouts last for one minute, or until one hit or
touch is scored. Pentathletes fence every pentathlete in the competition, in a
round robin format. Points are awarded according to the ratio of bouts won to
bouts lost.

    Swimming - Pentathletes swim 200, 100, or 50 metres depending on age.
Freestyle or front crawl is the stroke of choice because it is the fastest.
The faster the time the more points the athlete earns.

    Equestrian Riding - Pentathletes do not ride their own horse in
competition. Instead, pentathletes draw a number to determine their horse.
Athletes have a 20-minute warm up and five practice jumps before entering the
riding course. The course consists of 12 jumps including a double and a triple
jump. Athletes are awarded 1,200 pentathlon points at the start of the
competition and lose points for missing jumps and time faults. Spectators are
asked to remain quiet while athletes are riding; however applause and cheering
is appreciated after the course is completed.

    Shoot/Run - Pentathletes finish the competition with a shoot/run
combination. Athletes shoot with .177-calibre air pistol at five "dropping"
targets 10 metres away. They then run one kilometre, shoot another five
targets, followed by another kilometre, five more targets and finally a
kilometre run to the finish. Points are awarded by time. Total points after
the first three events in the competition determines the start order. The
athlete with the most points starts first, with the remaining athletes
starting in a staggered order determined by one second intervals for every
four point difference. The first athlete to finish the shoot/run wins the
overall pentathlon competition.

For further information:

For further information: Diane St-Denis, media relations, C.: (604)
340-5703 or Aline Lafreniere, CAMPA communications, C.: (613) 791-4032 and
alineml@sympatico.ca. For further information on pentathlon, contact Angela
Ives, CAMPA president, C.: (514) 898-8754 and president@pentathloncanada.ca

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