Margaux Isaksen Wins Silver, Taormina Seventh and Kelly TenthCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Coming off of her first World Cup Final of her modern pentathlon career in Cairo, Egypt, sixteen-year-old Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark./Colorado Springs, Colo.) took another huge step in her athletic career today winning the silver medal at World Cup #2 in Mexico City, Mexico. In a very good day for USA Pentathlon, she was followed by two fellow USA teammates also finishing in the top ten. Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.) finished seventh and Michelle "Mickey" Kelly (Chatham, N.Y./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) was tenth. Emily Shertzer (Hershey, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.) rounded out Team USA finishing in 20th place.
With Isaksen moving up the ranking ladder, it will make for an interesting battle for the potential two women's Olympic slots the USA can qualify for. 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, but must remain one of the top two ranked U.S. women in the World Cup season of the Olympic qualifying season in order to secure her Olympic slot.
Taormina's performance keeps her atop the rankings list. 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. The first World Cup stop of the 2008 season was also in Cairo, Egypt and Taormina got the season off to a positive start, leading all Americans with an eighth place finish.
The U.S. men also had good results from Mexico City with Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas/Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) finishing fourth and Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force) placing fifth in men's final action yesterday in Mexico City.
The USA Pentathlon Team is coached by Janusz Peciak (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
This and the remaining three World Cup stops during the Olympic qualification period are 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.
Please see below for the U.S. results from today's men's semifinal competition:
2008 World Cup #2 - Mexico City, Mexico
Individual event scores for Team USA are listed below:
Margaux Isaksen - Silver Medal - 5,452 points
Shoot - 182 (1,120 points)
Fence - 19V and 13D (916 points)
Swim - 2:23.93 (1,196 points)
Ride - 1,144 points
Run - 11:01.00 (1,076 points)
Sheila Taormina - Seventh Place - 5,184 points
Shoot - 178 (1,072 points)
Fence - 10V and 22D (664 points)
Swim - 2:11.87 (1,340 points)
Ride - 1,112 points
Run - 11:21.21 (996 points)
Michelle "Mickey" Kelly - 10th Place - 5,116 points
Shoot - 159 (844 points)
Fence - 19V and 13D (916 points)
Swim - 2:28.72 (1,136 points)
Ride- 1,072 points
Run - 10:43.50 (1,148 points)
Emily Shertzer - 20th Place - 4,776 points
Shoot - 166 (928 points)
Fence - 11V and 21D (692 points)
Swim - 2:38.43 (1,296 points)
Ride- 1,028 points
Run - 10:53.82 (1 points)
Representing the United States of America in World Cup #2 in Mexico City, Mexico were:
Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark./Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Michelle "Mickey" Kelly (Chatham, N.Y./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army)
Emily Shertzer (Hershey, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.)
Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas/Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army)
Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force)
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.)
Assistant Coach: Scott Christie (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army)
Team Leader: Scott Novack (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
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 http://www.usocpressbox.org/.