The first day after the opening ceremonies of these Pan Am Games was an exciting day for Team USA. The medals were decided for the women, but more importantly, 5 Olympic qualification spots were being decided.
After the fencing ranking round, Samantha Achterberg, Isabella Isaksen, and Jessica Davis were looking to move up the leaderboard. Swimming, fencing bonus round, riding, and laser run were all being contested to crown the Pan Am Games Champion.
In the 200-meter swimming event, Davis got things started out of heat 2. She split the race very well, getting a personal best with a time of 2:29.65. The final heat saw Isaksen and Achterberg. Isaksen started a little slower than normal and was a little off her time; touching the wall in 2:25.12 which put her in 9th place for the swim. Achterberg used a strong last 50 to finish 2nd in her heat and 4th overall with a time of 2:20.54.
Next up was the fencing bonus round. Davis went up against CAN and Davis was not able to get the victory, missing out on bonus points. Achterberg was up next, against the same CAN athlete. CAN attacked and Achterberg made a great block and hit to get a bonus victory. Achterberg's next bout was against BRA and she was not able to get the victory. Achterberg finished the bonus round with one bonus point. Isaksen immediately followed and went up against BRA. BRA attacked and Isaksen just missed the block and lost the touch.
Going into the riding event, Achterberg was in 15th place, Isaksen was in 16th place, and Davis was in 18th place. In the riding event, Davis was up first for Team USA. She drew a difficult horse that had some refusals out on course. Davis got a little confused on the course and ended up jumping a jump out of order after a refusal; resulting in an elimination. Isaksen was up next and she drew a strong horse. She had a couple of knockdowns and a refusal on the last jump. Her total score was 259, which was 14th in the riding event. Achterberg was right after Isaksen and her horse was strong as well. Achterberg fell off the horse during the warmup but was able to regroup and put together a great ride with just time faults for a total score of 293.
After the riding event, Achterberg was in 8th place, Isaksen was in 11th place, and Davis was in 23rd place. Davis had some good shooting and running, crossing the finish line in 23rd place. Unfortunately, her riding score kept her out of the higher places. Isaksen had a couple of good shooting series, shooting 8 seconds on her 2nd series. She was able to move up to 10th place overall.
Achterberg is known for having a great laser run and she didn't disappoint. She shot average times for her but really made her moves in running. She was in 3rd place going into the final 800 and made a strong push to cross the finish line in 2nd place. Not only was this a silver medal, but it was also an Olympic qualification spot. The other four athletes that got Olympic qualification spots were athletes from MEX, CUB, BRA, and ECU. For those that didn't qualify, this competition had valuable Olympic ranking points that athletes can use to qualify for Tokyo off the Olympic ranking list.