GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Dennis Bowsher
(Dallas, Texas) may not have earned a medal on Sunday at the Pan Am Games but his 4th-place finish in the men's modern pentathlon competition elicited an exuberant fist pump nonetheless as he crossed the finish line in fourth place and earned a spot at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Bowsher moved up from sixth place prior to the final event, the combined run/shoot, to place fourth and earn the final Olympic qualifying spot behind gold medalist Oscar Soto
of Mexico, silver medalist Andrei Gheorghe
of Guatemala who was 14 seconds back and bronze medalist Esteban Bustos
of Chile who finished 18 seconds off the pace. Bowsher was 21 seconds back of the winner and fellow American Sam Sacksen
(Somerset, Pa.) moved up from 13th place to finish in sixth, 40 seconds behind Soto. Sacksen turned in the top time of 10:47.36 in the combined run/shoot
"In the last 1,000 meters, I knew if the guy behind me passed me I wouldn't have the spot," said Bowsher. "So I was running to keep him off and I didn't realize how close I was until the last 100 meters and that's when the Chilean runner just took off. You always shoot for the top. Gold would have been nice. If shooting and fencing went a lot better I could have been on the podium, but I'm definitely happy with my finish."
Bowsher joins Margaux Isaksen
(Fayetteville, Ark.) as the first two U.S. qualifiers in modern pentathlon for the London Games. Isaksen captured the gold medal in the women's competition on Saturday.