VANCOUVER (June 17, 2019) — Field Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee, officially announced the athletes nominated to represent Canada in the men’s field hockey competition at the 2019 Pan American Games. Field hockey will take place July 29 to August 10, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
The Pan American Games are part of the Olympic pathway with the winning team automatically qualifying for Tokyo 2020. Canada’s Men’s National Team enters the competition as the reigning silver medallists, having lost to Argentina at TORONTO 2015.
Canada’s field hockey team has a history of reaching the top of the podium at the Pan American Games. They have four gold medals, with their most recent coming in 2007, which qualified them for the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. Since 2007, they’ve earned two consecutive silver medals and will be looking to earn their fifth gold in August to take that vital Pan American spot at the Olympic Games.
The Men’s National Team is fresh off a tournament victory in Malaysia at the FIH Hockey Series Finals. The team defeated China, Italy and Malaysia in the elimination rounds to claim the gold medal and a spot in October’s final Olympic qualification series.
Head coach Paul Bundy was happy with how the team performed under pressure in Malaysia. He is confident with the team they have selected and is looking forward to the opportunity to keep the team’s winning ways going at the Pan American Games.
“It’s always good to win a tournament and particularly in the Olympic qualifying process,” Bundy said. “Now our sights turn to the Pan American Games; it’s the most important tournament of the quad.”
Reigning Olympic champion Argentina is the tournament favourite. Currently ranked fourth in the world, Argentinian squads have won three of the last four Pan American Games. Bundy knows that the tournament is going to be challenging and knows it will be a great test of character for the team.
“Argentina is the Olympic champion and other Pan Am teams are playing well right now. We know this will be a difficult tournament and need to prepare well,” he said. “The objective is clear: to win and qualify directly for Tokyo.” Not getting ahead of himself, he added, “we will need to play one game at a time and be smart in the way we play through to the crossover games and put ourselves into the finals.”
Susan Ahrens, Field Hockey Canada CEO and former international field hockey player, knows how important these multi-sport events are and is excited to support and follow the teams as they go through the competition.
“The Pan American Games are an amazing multi-sport games. This year’s Pan American Games is particularly significant as both of our national teams are serious gold medal contenders,” Ahrens said. “The Canadian men’s team is coming off the back of winning an FIH tournament and I know they are going to do everyone proud with their performance in Lima. I wish them the best of luck. We are proud of our staff and all our athletes and look forward to cheering them on to success!”
Canada’s Lima 2019 women’s field hockey team will be announced in early July.
Field Hockey Canada would like to thank the Canadian Olympic Committee, Own the Podium, Sport Canada and our other partners for their continued support of field hockey in Canada.
The athletes and coaches nominated are:
- Brenden Bissett (New Westminster, B.C.) – Midfielder
- David Carter (Vancouver, B.C.) – Goalie
- Tyler Curran (North Vancouver, B.C.) – Midfielder
- Adam Froese (Vancouver, B.C.) – Midfielder
- Gordon Johnston (Vancouver, B.C.) – Defender
- James Kirkpatrick (Vancouver, B.C.) – Midfielder
- Balraj Panesar (Surrey, B.C.) – Defender
- Sukhpal Panesar (Surrey, B.C.) – Midfielder
- Mark Pearson (Tsawwassen, B.C.) – Forward
- Brandon Pereira (Surrey, B.C.) – Defender
- Keegan Pereira (Toronto, Ont.) – Forward
- Oliver Scholfield (Toronto, Ont.) – Forward
- Iain Smythe (Vancouver, B.C.) – Forward
- John Smythe (Vancouver, B.C.) – Defender
- Scott Tupper (Vancouver, B.C.) – Defender
- James Wallace (Vancouver, B.C.) – Forward
- Paul Bundy (Cape Town, South Africa) – Head Coach
- Gregg Clark (Vancouver, B.C.) – Assistant Coach
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the COC’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations in late June 2019.
Story and Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee