Brazil and Guatemala both won the modern pentathlon events held at the Pan American Games. The rules for the continental qualifier for Pan America are a bit different than the other continents. While 5 quotas were available for both genders at least one of them had to be in the NORCECA and South American region and only one athlete per nation is able to qualify instead of two or more. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The modern pentathlon events were held from July 18th to July 19th 2015.
In the women’s race it was Brazil’s Yane Marques who had a great start by winning both the fencing and swimming portions. A relatively poor performance in the riding portion didn’t stop her from having a 36 second lead over the entire field going into the final portion. Over the running and shooting portion Tamara Vega of Mexico produced a near-flawless performance where she finished just one second behind Marques for silver. Compatriot Mayan Oliver won the bronze, but did not get an Olympic quota due to the one quota per nation rule. The other three quotas went to Donna Vakalis of Canada, Isabel Brand of Guatemala and Leydi Moya of Cuba. Since Marques finished in third at the world championship that quota has been reallocated to the next best ranked eligible person in that event, Great Britain’s Samantha Murray.
Guatemala’s Charles Fernandez took the overall lead with an impressive performance in fencing and was able to maintain it despite the weather delays for the final portion where he had a 17 second lead, ahead of Nathan Schrimsher of the United States who was 11 seconds ahead of Ismael Hernandez of Mexico. Part-way through the final portion Hernandez was able to overtake Schrimsher while also making cuts into Fernandez lead. However, Hernandez just simply ran out of space as Fernandez won the gold medal with a 5 second advantage. Schrimsher won the bronze to also book a ticket to Rio. The other two quotas went to Jose Figueroa of Cuba and Emmanuel Zapata of Argentina.
In modern pentathlon the quota is tied to the athlete instead of going straight to the NOC. The continental championships will continue with visits to Europe and Africa over the month of August.
Quotas by Nation
- Cuba – 2
- Guatemala – 2
- Mexico – 2
- Argentina – 1
- Brazil – 1
- Canada – 1
- United States – 1
- UIPM. Pan American Games: Storming performances and new qualified athletes for Rio 2016. Access on July 19 2015.