Women's Semi Finals - Achterberg Makes Finals

By Dennis Bowsher | Sept. 10, 2018, 12 a.m. (ET)

Mexico City, Mexico - Day 4 of the UIPM Pentathlon World Championships was the start of the individual competition with the women’s semi-final. Team USA had Samantha Achterberg and Jessica Davis in Group A and Naomi Ross in Group B.

Starting with Ross in Group B; this was her third competition (Women’s Relay, Mixed Relay, Women’s semi-final) in four days and she fought every day till the very end. She started the day with swimming going a 2:33.80, a solid time for her. In the fencing event, Ross ended up with a total of 15v/16d. She was very even with her wins and losses, unable to go on a hot streak like during the mixed relay. Ross shot well in the laser-run event, totaling 67 seconds for all 4 series, and she put everything she had left in the tank into the running portion. In her semi-final, Ross crossed the line in 29th place in her first Senior World Championships. Ross gained a lot of experience during this competition. She fenced Senior level athletes on 3 separate occasions, but the biggest experience was gained in riding. She completed 2 Senior World Championships riding courses with just a refusal and a knockdown. This competition was a huge step for her in her pentathlon career.

Jessica Davis, out of New York, is competing in her third World Championships. She started the day with an excellent fence. Davis made some great counters that surprised a lot of her opponents. She finished the fencing event strong by winning 6 out of her last 7 touches and ended up with 18v/15d. In her 200m swim, she split it well, going 1:12.64 and 1:17.68 for a total time of 2:30.32. The overall time was slightly off her best time, but a good time where the elevation at the venue is 7,300 feet. Davis started the laser-run in 19th position. She had good shooting, getting all 4 series in 56 seconds, and finished the laser-run with a time of 14:55. Davis ended up in 28th place overall in her semi-final group. Coming from New York, this was a big altitude change, but she handled it like a professional and competed hard in all her events.

The highlight of the day was Samantha Achterberg, a Private First Class in the US Army. Starting with fencing, Achterberg worked for every touch and ended up with 14v/18d which is a season’s best for her. She swam a 2:22.74, a solid time for her at altitude. Achterberg’s biggest event was the laser-run, where she started in position 22. She shot all 4 series in a total of 45 seconds and only had a total of 4 misses. Each time she ran the 800-meter loop, Achterberg kept passing other competitors. By the third 800m she had already put herself in the top 15, which is direct qualification to the final. She was able to take it a little easy on her last 2 laps but because she is in great running shape and a great shooter, she moved up even more to finish in 8th place in her semi-final. This is Achterberg’s first World Championship final in her career and she looks to continue her amazing run at these World Champs with the Women’s Final taking place on Sep 12th.

Day 5 is the men’s individual and representing Team USA will be Amro Elgeziry, Seamus Millet, Brendan Anderson, and Sam Ruddock. Good Luck Team USA!!