Some radical changes to the equipment and competition format await the modern pentathlon competitors at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The first notable change has been the reduction of the competition from five separate events to four, with the running and shooting events now combined into one event much like the Winter Games biathlon. The combined run/shoot is the last event held in the modern pentathlon and has created exciting finishes to the recent world-cup events.
In the new format, competitors begin the run/shoot at staggered intervals based on their point totals heading into the last event. They must enter the shooting range a total of three times, stopping and shooting five targets each time, and then run a 1000-meter lap each time for a total of 3000 meters (about two miles). The overall winner is the first person to cross the finish line, making it easily identifiable for the spectators and televisions viewers.
A major equipment change within the run/shoot has also been implemented in 2010. Competitors will now be using laser pistols and targets instead of the pellet guns previously used in the event.
- USA Pentathlon is fortunate to have three of its four team members from the Beijing Games still in the fold for 2012. Margaux Isaksen, Sam Sacksen and Eli Bremer are all contenders to make the U.S. team for the London Games.
- Eighteen-year-old Margaux Isaksen finished 21st in Beijing at just 16 years of age. She enjoyed a fantastic 2009 campaign, winning gold medals at both the senior and youth A national championships as well as the NORCECA Championships and U.S. Open. She won a bronze medal at the junior world championships and capped 2009 with a 17th-place finish at the senior world championships and a 14th-place finish at the world cup final. Isaksen improved upon that in 2011, placing 10th in the 2010 World Cup Final. She also won a silver medal at the first world-cup event of 2010 in Mexico.
- Also expected to be in the mix for the women’s squad in 2012 are veteran Mickey Kelly and Suzanne Stettinius.
- Sam Sacksen and Eli Bremer will again lead the charge for the men’s team in London. Sacksen placed 18th in Beijing and Bremer finished 22nd. They will be challenged by Will Brady and Dennis Bowsher. Brady was the only male qualifier from the U.S. for the 2010 World Cup Final, where he placed 34th. He also had a strong showing at the 2009 World Championships, finishing 14th overall. Bowsher has also had some breakout moments over the past two years. In 2009 he won gold medals at the national championships, NORCECA Championships and U.S. Open, and captured the bronze medal at the Pan Am Championships. He also had a strong 22nd-place finish at the 2010 World Cup Final in Great Britain.
- Margaux Isaksen
- Sam Sacksen
- Will Brady
- Mickey Kelly
- Suzanne Stettinius
- Dennis Bowsher
- Eli Bremer
Athlete Social Media
- Margaux Isaksen - @MargauxIsaksen
- Suzanne Stettinius - suzanne.mintmeadows.com