Mexico City-- After two days of hotly contested men and women's finals, seventeen year old Margaux Isaksen led the US team with a ninth place finish on Sunday in the first World Cup of the 2009 series in Mexico City this past Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29. The nearly perfect sunny, 80 degree weather conditions made the weekend of competition a well attended event which added to the festive and spirited atmosphere. Several representatives from the UIPM (Union Internationale Pentathlon Moderne) technical committee were in attendance to assist the Mexican LOC (Local Organizing Committee) with the organization of the event which was the first time the newly adopted combined event was contested at the World Cup level. This event is a combination of running and shooting. The increased excitement level of the spectators was apparent as the athletes ran to their shooting stations and had to score on their 59.2 mm target five times before being allowed to depart for their one kilometer run over grass, asphalt and stone paths. This was repeated three times for a total of 15 scoring shots and three kilometers of racing. The final standings after this event were significantly different than the placings after the fencing, swimming, and riding events.
Isaksen followed a mid pack fencing performance with a blazing fifth place swimming finish (2:18 seconds for 200 meters) to set her up nicely for the riding event. Her nearly perfect riding score (1168/1200) put her in 12th place prior to the final combined run-shoot event. Her superior running ability enabled her to pass three athletes to start her 2009 World Cup season with a top ten finish for the USA modern pentathlon team.
The men's finals competition on Saturday had Will Brady leading the Americans with a 24th place finish in the strong international field featuring 15 of the top 36 ranked athletes in the world of pentathlon. Brady thrilled the crowd with a perfect 1200 point ride in the jumping event before advancing several places with a strong time of 12:34 in the combined run-shoot event. Team mate Sam Sacksen turned in an excellent 12:07 (9th place) time in the combined event in spite of sustaining injuries in both the fencing and riding events earlier in the day. Eli Bremer led the US team in the fencing competition with a score of 784 points.
The US pentathlon team will travel to Hungary and Italy for the third and fouth World Cups of the 2009 season in May before heading to the US nationals in Palm Springs, CA in early June. Be sure to keep checking the USA Pentathlon website at www.usapentathlon.org for more details and scores.