Isaksen wins gold at Pan Am Games

Oct. 15, 2011, 6:17 p.m. (ET)

Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) won the women's gold medal on Saturday at the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Isaksen, 20, and a 2008 Olympian, made up a 20-second deficit on Brazil's Yane Marques in the day's final event, the combined run/shoot. Isaksen passed Marques on the second of three 1000-meter laps and coasted to victory with a 24-second lead.

"I'd like to thank, first and foremost, my family back in Arkansas and my coach Janusz Peciak," said Isaksen. "Without them I wouldn't be anywhere."

By virtue of her finish Isaksen earned a spot for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and will be on the U.S. team unless two American competitors pass her in the world rankings between now and the London Games.

"It's such a relief," added Isaksen. "I'm really focusing on my training for next year. Nothing is certain until you are on the starting line but I'm really excited (to have qualified)."
Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.) finished 7th in Saturday's competition at Club Hipica.

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