Sam Sacksen Qualifies for Saturday's Men's Final of Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt as Women's Final Set for Tomorrow
For Immediate Release February 21, 2008 Sam Sacksen Qualifies for Saturday's Men's Final of Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt as Women's Final Set for Tomorrow COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished sixth in the men's semifinal Group A of World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt to qualify for his first World Cup final of his career today. Niul Manske (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) and Will Brady (Colorado Springs, Colo.) also competed, but did not advance past the semifinal round. All four women representing the United States of America at the first World Cup stop of the modern pentathlon season in Cairo, Egypt qualified for Friday's women's final. Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark./Colorado Springs, Colo.), Emily Shertzer (Hershey, Penn./Colorado Springs, Colo.), Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.) and Michelle "Mickey"Kelly (Chatham, N.Y./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) will all compete for valuable world ranking and Olympic qualifying points in tomorrow's final. This stop along with the remaining four 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. Kelly 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. 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, 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) chose sit out the first World Cup stop 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 men's semifinal competition: 2007 World Cup #1-Cairo, Egypt Individual event scores for Team USA are listed below: Group A Sam Sacksen-Sixth Place-4,204 points Shoot - 185 (1,156 points) Fence - 15V and 14D (840 points) Swim - 2:15.09 (1208 points) Run - 10:00.36 (1000 points) Group B Niul Manske-23rd - 3916 points Shoot - 186 (1168 points) Fence - 10V and 20D (692 points) Swim - 2:12.82 (1180 points) Run - 10:31.24 (876 points) Group C Will Brady-26th Place - 3748 points Shoot - 181 (1108 points) Fence-9V and 21D (664 points) Swim - 2:13.91 (1196 points) Run - 10:55.03 (780 points) For complete 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.