LONDON -- Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas), the lone American in the men's modern pentathlon competition, placed 32nd on Saturday at the London Olympic Games. He totaled 5324 points over the five disciplines.
Bowsher started the day placing 34th in the fencing competition at the Copper Box with 12 victories and 23 defeats, giving him 688 pentathlon points. When competition moved to the Aquatics Centre pool, Bowsher turned in the 18th fastest time, touching the wall in 2:05.15 for the 200m swim. That performance moved him up to 30th place after two events with 1988 points.
The rest of the day's events were held in picturesque Greenwich Park, beginning with the riding. Many riders had trouble controlling the horses which are unknown to the riders and drawn at random, and Bowsher was no exception. His horse balked at the first jump and Bowsher had to rearrange his strategy to guide the horse through the 12 jumps.
"My horse was interesting," said Bowsher. "He didn't need any leg in warmup, but I had to start digging in during the ride. I also got a little bit of nerves before the ride after seeing all the people in the stadium."
For the ride, Bowsher accumulated 100 obstacle points and 24 time points, giving him a total of 1076 and an overall total of 3064 heading into the final phase, the combined run/shoot. That meant that Bowsher would start in 31st place for the combined, 1 minute and 39 seconds after the leader went off the start.
Bowsher struggled somewhat in the shooting and crossed the line in 32nd position. David Svoboda of the Czech Republic took the gold medal with 5928 points, followed by China's Zhongrong Cao (5904) and Hungary's Adam Marosi (5836).
"I didn't have the best of days today, but looking back I have no regrets," Bowsher commented. "Everything was probably a little below average. In fencing I was a little late with my reactions, but my swim time was a season best."
The modern pentathlon concludes on Sunday with the women's event and Americans Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) and Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.) in the field of 36 athletes looking to medal.