William Brady and the US team come out on top in the men
Thirty two athletes took part in the men’s competition. The day started off with Brazilian veteran Daniel Vargas dos Santos taking a commanding lead in the fencing event with 27 victories and only 4 defeats and 1140 points. Guatemalan Andrei Gheorghe who was the only other athlete over a thousand points as he finalized the competition with 1028 points followed him. Mexican Jorge Insunza, who swam a lifetime best of 2.03.65 and 1320 points, won the swim in the 50 meter outdoor pool followed by Brazilian Luis Magno at 2.05.40 and American Robert Bremer with a 2.05.79. The riding course was challenging but thanks to the high level of the horses and a perfect execution on their part, three riders, Emanuel Zapata from Argentina, William Brady from the US and Alex Hernandez from Ecuador all scored perfect 1200 point rounds.
As they entered the final combined event the Brazilian Daniel Vargas dos Santos was in first place but the margin was very slim. The run shoot combined event proved to be exciting as always with many place changes during the event in each of the three laps. The American William Brady had the fastest time of the day at 11.35 and that was enough to put him on top of the podium with a total pentathlon score of 5500 points. Strong finishes by Cuban Olympian Yaniel Velazquez and Mexican Jorge Insunza allowed them to move up several places and finish in second and third places with 5416 and 5404 points respectively.
The US also won the team event with Robert Bremer and Dennis Bowsher joining William Brady to reach 16, 184 points. The Brazilian team of Daniel Vargas dos Santos, Luis Magno and William Muinhos who scored 15,912 points and Mexico followed them with Jorge Insunza, Jonathan Ortega and Alvaro Sandoval with 15, 860 points.
Yane Marques and Brazil dominate the women’s events
Brazilian Yane Marques completely dominated the women’s individual event winning the first three disciplines. In the fencing event she won 22 out of 23 bouts losing only once for a pentathlon score of 1240 points. She followed that by also winning the 200 meter swim with a time of 2.14.29 and 1192 points. In the riding event seven athletes had one knockdown and a score of 1180 points, but of those seven, the one whose time came closest to the set time was Yane Marques, giving her a perfect record for the first three events of the day. She went in to the combined event with a more than 200 point lead and cruised to an easy victory and total score of 5336 pentathlon points, confirming her status as the defending Pan American Games champion from Rio 2007 and the favorite to win in the Guadalajara Games next year. Second place went to Margaux Isaksen from the USA who had the fastest shoot run time and finalized with 5148 points. Brazilians Priscilla Oliveira and Larissa Lellys also finished strong and moved into third and fourth place with scores of 4804 and 4728 points respectively.
With their 1,3, 4 finish the Brazilian women dominated the team event with 14,868 points. The Canadian team of Donna Vakalis, Melanie Mccann and Mathea Stevens who scored 13,824 points followed them. Third place went to the Cuban team of Katia Rodrigues, Kenia Campos and Suaima Garcia with 13,472 points.
Mexico and Cuba dominate the relays
The relay events in the Pan American Championship were all held on the final day of the competition in the two athlete format in order to allow the teams of three to take part in all three relays. This competition system gave each of the participating nations the chance to determine the best strategy with regard to where they placed their athletes, especially since the results would determine who qualified for the relay events of the 2011 World Championship. The top two spots in the NORCECA region as well as the top finisher in the South American Region would all earn spots for next year’s worlds. The final results reflect the growth of several of the newer nations as a total of six different nations qualified.
The Cubans had placed their best female athlete in the mixed relay so they were the first to be surprised when their team of Kenia Campos and Suaima Garcia held on in the combined event to win first place in the women’s relay. The Canadian team of Melanie McCann and Donna Vakalis who was the other NORCECA qualifier followed them very closely. Third place went to Brazilians Larissa Lellys and Priscilla Oliveira who thus earned the spot for South America.
In the men’s relay it was a rematch of this year’s Central American and Caribbean Games in which Guatemala outshot Mexico and had taken the gold medal on their home turf. This time the final combined event saw Mexico’s Jorge Insunza and Guatemala’s Nikkos Papadopolo battling it out once again and exchanging the lead several times before handing off to Andrei Gheorghe and Alvaro Sandoval for the final two laps. In the final lap Alvaro Sandoval from Mexico overcame a 20 second deficit and overtook Gheorghe to give Mexico the victory. The third place went to Brazil who also obtained the South American qualification in this event.
The final event of the Championship was the mixed relays. Argentina and Cuba had saved their best two athletes for this relay. However the surprise winners were the young team from Mexico with Katya Martinez and Jonathan Orozco finishing just ahead of Cuba’s Katia Rodrigues and Yaniel Velazquez. The best team from South America was the brother and sister team from Argentina with Pamela and Emanuel Zapata who finished third.
The Brazilian Modern Pentathlon Federation, our hosts for the 2016 Olympic Games put on a great show. The competition was very well organized and the participants got a chance to savor the great flavors of Brazil at the traditional Porçao restaurant where the final award’s dinner was held.
Medals were presented by Ivar Sisniega, UIPM Vice President, John Holland, UIPM NORCECA Regional Vice President and Jorge Salas, UIPM South American Regional Vice President as well as by the host Helio Meirelles, President of the Brazilian Modern Pentathlon Confederation. In addition to the Pan American Championship medals were also presented to the best athletes from the NORCECA region as this event doubled as the NORCECA Championship, with the participation of 6 countries from this area.
The technical delegates were Janusz Peciak and Maria do Santos who worked very well with the local organizing committee to ensure that all the events kept on schedule and within the rules.