A Paralympic Preview: Field

With the Paralympic Games starting tomorrow, Report On Rio has been previewing every event that has a Canadian team competing in Brazil — featuring past results, schedules, rosters, and expectations.

Earlier this week we broke down the track events in which Canada will compete for the majority of its athletic medals. Today, we focus our eyes on the field.

The Paralympics feature jumping events (high jump, long jump, and triple jump), throwing events (discus, shot put, club throw and javelin) and the pentathlon, which combines track and road events, jumping events, and throwing events, depending on the athletes’ classification.

Just six of the 24-member Canadian team (plus Eva Fejes, who acts as Sport Assistant for Ness Murby) will compete in the field in Rio, on rooster filled deep with debutants. Only six of the 15 men, and three of the nine ladies named to full track & field squad for the Paralympics competed at the London 2012 Games.

Meet the Team

– Pamela LeJean is the top ranked women’s F53 shot put thrower in the world.
– Pamela LeJean is the top ranked women’s F53 shot put thrower in the world.

Despite being one of the rookies on the Canadian squad, Pamela LeJean from Cape Breton, is expected to strongly challenge for first place in Rio  as she occupies the top spot in the F53 shot put world rankings for women. The 31-year-old is a former wheelchair basketball player and shot to fame with a gold medal at the Parapan Am Games in Toronto last summer. LeJean also took a silver at the world championships.

Renee Foessel competes in the Women's Discus Throw Final during the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
Renee Foessel competes in the Women’s Discus Throw Final during the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.

At just 21, Renée Foessel has already made marks in the F38 Discus event. The Mississauga, Ont. native took home a complete medal set at the 2015 Parapan Ams, winning gold in the discus, silver in the shot put and bronze in the javelin. She will start competition in Rio full of confidence after taking a bronze in the IPC World Championships.

Calgary’s Jennifer Brown is also worth watching. She will throw the discus in Rio but is also the Canadian record holder in the F38 shot put.

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Ness Murby met the Paralympics qualification standard at July’s para-athletic trials in Edmonton with a toss of 29.58m.

Ness Murby is ranked in the top eight in the world in four sports (discus, javelin, shotput and powerlifting). Murby, 30, who competes in the F11 category, won bronze in the discus at last years Parapan Ams in Toronto. Rio will be the Melbourne, Australia native’s first Paralympic Games.

Rounding out the team are Calgarian Alister McQueen, who will throw the Javelin in the F44 class and Kevin Strybosch from London, Ont. Strybosch will toss the discus in the F37 event.

The para-athletics competition will be jointly staged at Fort Copacabana and Olympic stadium from September 8 to 18.

The complete Canadian Paralympic Team in the field is as follows:

Name Hometown Class Event(s) Coach(es)
*Alister McQueen Calgary, AB F44 Javelin Kim Cousins
Kevin Strybosch London, ON F37 Discus John Allan
Jenn Brown Calgary, AB F38 Discus Kim Cousins
Eva Fejes Salt Spring Island, BC Sport Assistant for Ness Murby
Renée Foessel Orangenville, ON F38 Discus Ken Hall
Pamela Le Jean Cape Breton, NS F53 Shot put Ueli Albert
Ness Murby Salt Spring Island, BC F11 Discus Sheldan Gmitroski

 *Denotes previous Paralympic Games experience


Photos courtesy of Canadian Paralympic Commitee

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