Desirae Ridenour, who won three gold medals at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, will represent Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Peru. (Team BC photo)

Vancouver Island triathlete picked for Pan Am Games

Cowichan Bay’s Ridenour bound for second international multi-sport event

Cowichan Bay’s Desirae Ridenour has been named as one of six Canadians who will compete in triathlon at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Ridenour, 19, was named to the team by Triathlon Canada last week, based on performances at multiple events this spring.

Already a veteran of international competition, Ridenour previously competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, where she finished 17th in the women’s individual race and helped Canada to a fourth-place finish in the mixed relay.

“I’m very excited to represent Canada at another games,” she said. “It’s always an honour to wear the maple leaf and have the support of the country behind me. My experience at the Commonwealth Games in Australia provided me with a better understanding of what to expect and how to conduct myself in a multi-games environment. I can’t wait for another opportunity in Lima.”

Ridenour has also been crowned Continental Junior Champion and was a triple gold medallist at the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

Among Ridenour’s teammates in Lima will be another Vancouver Islander, as Hannah Henry, who was also a force at the 2017 Canada Games, was also named to the squad.

Canada has earned nine medals in triathlon at the Pan American Games since 1995. The last two podium finishes were by Olympian Brent McMahon, who won the silver at the 2007 Games and bronze in 2011. The only two gold medals won by Canadian triathletes at the Pan American Games came by Sharon Donnelly (1999), and Jill Savage (2003).

The individual triathlon event will take place July 27. A mixed-relay competition will take centre stage on July 29.

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