Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa.) finished among the top 36 athletes in a field of 105 on Friday during the men's qualification round at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Sacksen's 7th-place finish in his semi-final group earns him a berth in Sunday's men's individual final.
Sacksen scored 832 points in the fencing competition and swam a time of 2:08.90 to put him in 15th place heading into the combined run/shoot. Only the top 12 athletes in each group would qualify for the final.
"Janusz (Peciak) and I figured there were only two spots available in the top 12 due to the presence of some of the best combined persons in the world already in the top before the start," said Sacksen. "After the first shoot I actually went backwards and was 16th coming into the range for the second series which would actually be my poorest series with a miss and slow time. I caught a group on the run and we worked together to pass a few slower runners on the second run and came into the third shoot right around 13th. A perfect series would send me back out on the course in 10th and I was able to catch up to the main pack which was still moving along quite quickly because the entire field was breathing down our necks. I finished comfortably inside the top pack of runners in 7th position."
In fact, Sacksen posted the fastest time in the combined (10:13.20) to vault himself up to 7th place and qualify for the finals with 4636 total points.
U.S. athletes in Friday's competition who finished out of the qualifying range included Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo.) with 4512 points, Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas) with 4456 points, and Will Brady (Howell, Mich.) with 4444 points. For complete results go to www.pentathlon.org.
Competition at the World Championships continues on Saturday with the women's individual final. American Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) is in contention and looking to improve upon her 12th-place finish in last year's championships.
The UIPM will broadcast the finals days live on Pentathlon TV at www.pentathlon.org Sept. 10 & 11. The broadcast will feature highlights of the fencing and swimming events as well as live coverage of the riding and combined event.
September 8 Women's Qualification
September 9 Men's Qualification
September 10 Women's Individual Final
September 11 Men's Individual Final
September 12 Mixed Relay
September 13 Women's Relay
September 14 Men's Relay