22 March – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - USA’s “Gaux-Girl”, Margaux Isaksen (21, Fayetteville, Arkansas) won the Women’s World Cup of Modern Pentathlon today in Rio De Janerio, Brazil. Isaksen, who finished fourth in the London Games, defeated all three Olympic medalists from those Games in route to her gold medal in this grueling five-sport event.
No doubt this result today provides some redemption for Isaksen who had battled mononucleosis just prior to her fourth-place finish in London. The Rio World Cup today was the first time since the Olympics where all 4 top finishers have gone head to head.
On Wednesday, Isaksen qualified along with her younger sister, Isabella Isaksen (19, Fayetteville, Arkansas) for the finals, both girls easily making it through their semi-final events. In the finals today, the sisters got off to a rough start fencing with identical results of one victory above 50% and a score of 808 – a sub-par score for both girls. Following what is considered “normal” swims (200 meter freestyle) Margaux began her charge. She rode a perfect 1200 points in the show-jumping and vaulted to 3rd place over-all. In the Combined event ( shooting /running) the elder Isaksen posted a 12:48 over the 2 mile course ( four x 800 meter loops with four x five-target shooting series), winning the Combined and bringing home the gold medal. It was in the third 800 meter loop that Margaux Isaksen took the lead over 2012 Olympic silver medalist Samantha Murray of Great Britain and never looked back.
Isabella Isaksen, a member of the 2012 Junior World Gold-medal team, finished 21st in only her second major elite Pentathlon competition. Rounding out the rest of the US delegation was rookie Grace Kittle (24, Dallas, Texas) who nearly set a new Pentathlon world record in the 200 meter swim (2:08.4) just .2 seconds off the existing mark and narrowly missed qualifying for the finals and Christine McGrath (25, Newark, Delaware).
The next stop on the 2013 World Cup Series tour will be Cheng Du, China in 4 weeks time followed by Budapest, Hungary in May and the World Cup Finals in Moscow, Russia in June to complete the 2013 Series.
Team USA is coached in Colorado by head coach Janusz Peciak (1976 Olympic Champion) Genadijus Sokolovas, Jim Moody and Tracy Powers.