Ottawa – Just one month remains until some of the best athletes in the Americas descend on the nation’s capital to do battle over two days of competition at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility at Mooney’s Bay. On June 1st and 2nd, the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club will play host to the Panamerican Combined Events Cup, an event which aims to bring together the best decathletes and heptathletes among the Panamerican nations.
With at least 13 countries expected to participate in the event this year’s field is already proving to be strong with teams from Cuba, Brazil and the United States already having confirmed their attendance. Among the confirmed attendees on the men’s side are the defending champion Jose Angel Mendieta and his compatriot Yordani Garcia. Garcia, who holds a personal best of 8496 pts, has been a fixture on the international stage for many years, having a competed at every major international event since the 2005 World Youth Championships where he captured gold. Most recently Garcia finished 14th at the Olympic Games in London.
It is also expected that Ottawa decathlete Patrick Arbour, who moved into tenth on Canada’s all-time list last month, will be chosen to wear the red and white. This would be Arbour’s second consecutive appearance at the Panamerican Cup. At last year’s event, Arbour finished in fifth place behind training partner Mark Chenery. Together the pair captured the team title for Canada over the United States and Mexico. Chenery could be named to team Canada as well provided he can prove fitness at a competition next weekend in Virginia.
Leading the women’s field is defending Yorgelis Rodriguez of Cuba. Following her victory in Ottawa last season, Rodriguez went on to capture the World Junior title in Barcelona. “I have sweet memories from Canada last year. It was my first international win and a great boost in my preparation for the Junior Worlds. I look forward to competing again in Ottawa in June,” said Rodriguez. Also headlining the women’s field will be Rodriguez’s teammate, Yusleidys Mendieta, who is the defending World Youth champion.
With no admission fee for the Panamerican Cup, organizers encourage the public and track enthusiasts to make their way to Mooney’s Bay on June 1st at 10am to cheer on these great athletes. Stay tuned to ottawalions.com for more information on the event as it becomes available.