All Four USA Pentathletes Qualify for the Women's Final of World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt
For Immediate Release February 20, 2008 All Four USA Pentathletes Qualify for the Women's Final of World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-All four women representing the United States of America at the first World Cup stop of the modern pentathlon season in Cairo, Egypt qualified today for Friday's women's final. Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark./Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Emily Shertzer (Hershey, Penn./Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished sixth and 15th respectively in the Group A semifinal and Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.) and Michelle "Mickey"Kelly (Chatham, N.Y./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) finished seventh and 18th respectively in the Group B semifinal. This marks the first World Cup final for the sixteen year-old Isaksen. Kelly made the final despite feeling under the weather. Seven pentathletes from the United States of America are competing in the first World Cup stop of the 2008 Modern Pentathlon season, February 20-23 in Cairo, Egypt with the goal of earning valuable ranking points in hopes of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The women's semifinal was held today, Wednesday, February 20 with the men's semifinal set for tomorrow, Thursday, February 21. The women's final will be on Friday, February 22 and the men's on Saturday February 23. The remaining five World Cup stops during the Olympic qualification period will be critical to determining the athletes that will make up the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for Modern Pentathlon. The 2008 World Modern Pentathlon Championships, May 27-31 in Budapest, Hungary, will serve as a direct Olympic qualifier for the top three finishers who have not already qualified their spot for the Olympic Games. The final and most likely way for the U.S. to qualify for a final Olympic slot will be through the Modern Pentathlon World Rankings for the Olympic qualification period of June 1, 2007-June 1, 2008. This final means of qualification will go to the top seven ranked athletes that have not already qualified by some other means. Each country can only qualify a maximum of two men and two women. If the U.S. has more than two men or two women that meet the qualification criteria, USA Pentathlon will determine the two Olympic representatives based on the two highest ranked U.S. athletes in the World Cup standings. The top four U.S. women are competing in World Cup #1 in Cairo. Michelle "Mickey"Kelly (Chatham, N.Y./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) has already qualified a spot for the 2008 Olympic Games by virtue of her performance at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will look to use the World Cup season to keep her ahead in the pack. Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.), Emily Shertzer (Hershey, Penn./Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark./Colorado Springs, Colo.) will be joining Kelly. Taormina is attempting to make history by qualifying for her fourth U.S. Olympic Team in an unprecedented third sport. She has already competed in the Olympic Games in the sports of swimming and triathlon. She won a gold medal in swimming at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., swimming the third leg of the 800m freestyle relay. She finished sixth and 23rd, respectively, in the triathlon at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Taormina's top modern pentathlon World Cup performance came in March 2007 when she won the silver medal at World Cup #2 in Cairo, Egypt. On the men's side, the U.S. will be represented in Cairo by Niul Manske (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army), Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Will Brady (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Top ranked U.S. pentathletes Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force) and Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas/Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) will sit out the first World Cup stop, deciding to focus their energies on preparing for the second World Cup stop of the season in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5-8. Bremer has already qualified his spot for the 2008 Olympic Games based on his gold medal performance at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bowsher is in line to qualify through the World Ranking system, but must keep himself in that position. The USA Pentathlon Team is coached by Janusz Peciak (Colorado Springs, Colo.). The riding coach for the team is Michael Cintas (Rancho Mirage, Calif.). Please see below for the U.S. results from today's women's competition: 2007 World Cup #1-Cairo, Egypt Individual event scores for Team USA are listed below: Group A Margaux Isaksen-Sixth Place-4,040 points Shoot - 182 (1,120 points) Fence - 14V and 13D (840 points) Swim - 2:24.97 (1144 points) Run - 11:46.87 (896 points) Emily Shertzer-15th Place-3972 points Shoot - 174 (1,024 points) Fence - 11V and 16D (744 points) Swim - 2:35.61 (1056 points) Run - 10:43.00 (1148 points) Group B Sheila Taormina-Seventh Place - 3968 points Shoot - 169 (964 points) Fence - 10V and 18D (680 points) Swim - 2:12.68 (1328 points) Run - 11:21.00 (996 points) Mickey Kelly - Ninth Place - 3820 points Shoot - 171 (988 points) Fence-11V and 17D (712 points) Swim - 2:25.55 (1176 points) Run - 11:34.86 (944 points) Group A Margaux Isaksen-24th Place - 3960 points Shoot - 169 (964 points) Fence - 12V (692 points) Swim - 2:29.68 (1124 points) Run - 10:35.80 (1180 points) Emily Shertzer-27th Place-3876 points Shoot - 170 (976 points) Fence - 7V (552 points) Swim - 2:34.63 (1068 points) Run - 10:10.50 (1280 points) For complete women's semifinal results from the 2008 World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt, please visit the UIPM website at www.pentathlon.org. Representing the United States of America in World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt are: Women: Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark./Colorado Springs, Colo.) Michelle "Mickey"Kelly (Chatham, N.Y./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) Emily Shertzer (Hershey, Penn./Colorado Springs, Colo.) Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.) Men: Will Brady (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Niul Manske (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.) Head Coach: Janusz Peciak (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Riding Coach: Michael Cintas (Rancho Mirage, Calif.) For more information, please contact Cecil Bleiker, United States Olympic Committee NGB Services Manager at 719-866-4608. This press release is also available on the USOC's media specific website at www.usocpressbox.org.