Sultana of swing
Sultana Frizell is not a born-and-bred Kamloopsian, but she does consider the Tournament Capital home.
“Oh, it’s totally home,” said Frizell, 27, who will compete for Canada in women’s hammer-throw qualifying at the Olympic Summer Games in London on Wednesday, Aug. 8.
“When I first arrived here, I didn’t know what it was going to be like, if I’d like it or not, but everyone’s welcomed me with open arms.
“Now, I’m a Kamloopsian.”
Born in Perth, Ont., Frizell arrived in the fall of 2007 to train with National Throws Centre lead coach Anatoliy Bondarchuk, world-renowned for his expertise in the sport.
The Ukrainian has earned his keep in Kamloops, with Frizell, American hammer thrower Kibwe Johnson and Canadian shot putters Dylan Armstrong and Justin Rodhe all qualifying for the London Games.
Frizell is the current Canadian record holder, having thrown 75.04 metres in March in Tucson, Ariz.
She won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, in 2010 with a 68.57-metre toss and silver at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a 70.11-metre heave.
The local hammer thrower placed 33rd at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Frizell spent the weeks leading up to the Games in Albufeira, Portugal, getting herself into what she calls the “London zone.”
All the preparation is in the rearview mirror — it’s crunch time for the six-foot, 240-pound powerhouse athlete.
If she qualifies for the final, Frizell will compete for hardware on Friday, Aug. 10.
“I’m pretty stoked about it,” she said.
“It’s great to have Kamloops behind me and all of us.”