The Modern pentathlete Samantha Achterberg of Littleton, Colorado, was ranked No.17 at the Pan American Games Lima 2019. By the end of the day, Achterberg had won a silver medal and qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Olympic fans from all over the world are invited to book Olympic 2020 tickets from our online platforms for Olympic Tickets. Olympic Modern Pentathlon fans can book Olympic Modern Pentathlon Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively on discounted prices.
“It’s surreal,” Achterberg said. “Crossing the finish line, I was tearing up, and I can’t stop smiling now. I know the work’s not over, but it’s definitely a huge relief to know that I’ve qualified.”
The two-day process leading up to the culmination of the event in Peru was a mixture of emotions. Samantha Achterberg finished fourth in the swimming portion, which moved her up a couple of places going into equestrian. However, during her warmup, Achterberg’s horse bucked her off, causing a fleeting moment of doubt for the day.
Instead of allowing that sliver to manifest into something greater, she sat back, embraced her confidence and kept her horse busy throughout the course enough so to propel her in the rankings previous to the final portion.
From there, Achterberg showcased precisely why she’s known for her uncanny ability to come from behind in the field. Seeded eighth at the start of the laser run with a handicap time of 1:04, Achterberg’s first five shots were fired with ease, not missing a single one. Later three shooting series, she surged ahead of the pack to move into third place.
The final shoot was not met with the same deftness as her previous, as she felt slightly nervous, due to it being the first time she’d been in that high of a position. Memorizing how she was passed by two people at the finish line of a test event in Tokyo, Samantha kicked her sprint into high gear. Throughout the chase, Achterberg repeated to herself one thing, this is for the Olympic 2020 Games this is for Tokyo Olympic.
Samantha Achterberg finished in second to earn her silver medal and become the first U.S. modern pentathlete to qualify for the U.S. Tokyo Olympic Team. Tokyo will be the first Olympic 2020 Games for the 27-year-old. Bowsher, all he desired for Achterberg was a qualification spot, but it was a special perk for both him and Achterberg that she got to stand on the podium as well.
“It’s super emotional,” head coach Dennis Bowsher said. “Ever in the meantime Rio, she’s been working hard – especially this year. To see the results of that hard work, the payoff is just amazing to watch.”
“It is tremendous,” Achterberg said winning her first Pan American Games medal. “I love to be up on the podium hearing the national anthem and representing not only Team USA but also the U.S. Army and its World Class Program – it’s an amazing feeling, to bring back a medal for Team on the first day is really cool.” The U.S. men, Egypt Olympian Amro Elgeziry and U.S. Youth Olympian Brendan Anderson will have their chance at qualifying for Tokyo Olympic. This is the only sport where U.S. athletes can qualify by name in Lima.