Isaksen crowned Champion of Champions
USA modern pentathlete Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) dominated the field to emerge the 2011 Champion of Champions in Sicily, Italy on Saturday in front of a packed crowd in the picturesque central streets of Sicily.
The recently crowned Pan American Champion overcame the field of 18 champions to win by over 30 seconds ahead of a lightning quick Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania who pulled away from Ukraine’s Iryna Khokhlova to grab silver. Khokhlova held on for bronze.
Isaksen started the day by blowing away the fencing field with 27 victories, more than six better than the next competitor. A 6th place swim and only three knock downs in the ride meant she had a 30 second lead heading into the combined event. The 2008 Youth A World Champion shot consistently well to stretch her and was never in danger of losing the gold.
“I am so happy,” said a delighted Isaksen about the best performance of her career. “I had a very disappointing year and to come back to win the Pan American Games and now this is unbelievable. The Champion of Champions is a fantastic concept and I hope it is here to stay.”
In winning, Isaksen matched the performance of her coach Janusz Peciak who won the 1st ever Champion of Champions in 1975.
“It is so special for me to match Janusz’s performance,” stated Isaksen. “He is my inspiration for competing and I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Junior World Champion Sarolta Kovacs of Hungary placed fourth followed by Olympic champion Lena Schoneborn of Germany and world champion Victoria Tereshuk of Ukraine.
Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.) finished 17th.