With the 2016 Summer Olympics about to get under way in Rio de Janeiro later this week, Westmont fans will be paying special attention to women’s basketball and track and field and cheering on two particular athletes in their quest for an Olympic medal.
Tugce Canitez, who graduated from Westmont in 2013, will compete in the Olympics for the second time as a member of the Turkish women’s basketball team. Canitez competed at the London Games in 2012, the summer between her junior and senior years at Westmont. After her return from London to Westmont, Canitez helped lead the Warriors to the 2013 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship.
Since her graduation, Canitez has played professionally in her home country for Fenerbahce in Istanbul. A perineal contender in the Turkish Women’s Basketball League, Fenerbahce won the 2016 championship.
Turkey has been assigned to Group A at 2016 Olympics along with France, Australia, Japan, Belarus and the home country, Brazil. Pool play begins on Saturday, August 6 and continues through Monday, August 15. The single elimination brackets begin on Tuesday, August 16 with the quarterfinals. The semifinals are scheduled for Thursday, August 18 and the medal games will be played on Saturday, August 20.
Competing in the women’s heptathlon will be Barbara Nwaba, the two-time USA champion in the event. Nwaba is a member of the Santa Barbara Track Club that trains at Westmont and is coached by Joshua Priester, a Westmont assistant track and field coach.