On Friday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Taekwondo Canada named Melissa Pagnotta as Canada’s taekwondo athlete nominated to represent Team Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from August 5 to 21.
Pagnotta will represent Canada in the under 67 kg division.
Since making her senior world championship debut in 2007, Pagnotta has become one of Canada’s top taekwondo athletes. She achieved a career highlight in 2011 when she won gold at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara.
She also stood atop the podium at the 2014 Commonwealth Championships and is a three-time gold medallist at the Pan American Championships. Among her achievements in 2015 was her first career Grand Prix medal, a silver at the event in Moscow.
She also won gold at the Morocco Open, Mexico Open, and Spanish Open to go with a bronze medal at the German Open. Pagnotta also had a career-best result at the world championships where she advanced to the round of 16. It is this recent success that has finally made her feel like she fits in with the world’s elite athletes.
At the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, Canada won two medals in taekwondo, one each by Marc-André Bergeron and Maxime Potvin.
Canada heads to Rio having won two medals in taekwondo at previous Olympic Games, most recently Karine Sergerie’s silver at Beijing 2008. The other was a bronze won by Dominique Bosshart in taekwondo’s Olympic debut at Sydney 2000.
The taekwondo Olympic program contains 8 events: 4 for men (58 kg, 68 kg, 80 kg, +80 kg) and 4 for women (49 kg, 57 kg, 67 kg, +67 kg).
The taekwondo competition will take place at Carioca Arena 3 from Wednesday August 17 to Saturday August 20.
At Rio 2016, Canada will field a team of more than 315 athletes.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Olympic Committee | Olympic.ca