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Team Canada Selection for St Mary's Student

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Team Canada Selection for St Mary's Student

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Student at St Mary’s University, Twickenham Leonora MacKinnon has been selected to represent Canada by the Canadian Fencing Federation at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the Women’s Epee. Currently on a year out from her studies to prepare for the Olympics, Leonora achieved qualification at the Epee Men’s and Women’s Grand Prix Fencing event in Budapest, Hungary. She defeated a fencer from Russia and finished above competitors from Cuba and Argentina to qualify for one of the Pan American positions at Rio 2016. Speaking after her qualification Leonora said, “Qualifying for the Olympics has been my biggest dream since I was about eight years old. To achieve this dream at the young age of 21, when fencers tend to peak at around 30, is incredible and I'm so excited to have this opportunity. To be able to compete at Olympics is a huge and it proves to me that hard work commitment can pay off.” Director of Sport St Mary’s Andrew Reid-Smith said, “Leonora now competes for Canada and is training full-time in France. She’s made significant changes to realise her ambition to compete at an Olympics, it’s an incredible achievement to have qualified and St Mary’s wishes her every success in her first Games.” St Mary’s has now seen two athletes achieve Olympic qualification for Rio 2016 including Team GB’s Joshua Buatsi, Men’s Light Heavyweight Boxing. Alumnus Moe Sbihi has also been selected to row at the European Rowing Championships, ahead of the Olympic selections. St Mary’s has a proud history of Olympic and Paralympic success. The University’s sporting alumni include Mo Farah, the London 2012 double gold medalist and GB’s best ever distance runner, Rebecca Romero, an Olympic medalist in two different sports rowing and cycling making her one of GB’s greatest ever Olympians, and Moe Sbihi, London 2012 Bronze Medalist and World Champion Rower. Dave Weir, winner of four gold medals at the London Paralympics, trains at St Mary’s using the world-class facilities and support services. As part of St Mary’s contribution to the London Games the University supported athletes from ten different nations and provided Pre Games Training Camps for China, South Africa, Japan and Ireland.  Based on London 2012 medals won St Mary’s finished sixth, the highest placed London institution, in Podium’s league table for universities. Lord Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and President of the IAAF, opened St Mary’s latest sports facilities.  International athletes competing at the Games used these facilities, which continue to provide a sporting legacy for students, staff and local community alike.
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