Philly Scores Big in Pentathlon

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The pentathlon events were won by a four time champion, and a first time champion but Philadelphia scored a total of 33 points to help them seal their Olympics victory. In the women’s competition, Jessica Sarkisian won all five events to win her fourth title by 360 points over her sister Kelsey, who settled for third last year. Last year New Jersey’s Arev Dinkjian won the final event to edge out Kelsey for second place. But Sarkisian stayed ahead of Dinkjian this year to secure the silver by 37 points. Nareh Mkrtschjan from Providence placed fourth.

In 2016, Sebouh’s Aram Keshgegian and Boston’s Daron Hamparian both scored over 2500 points but both finished behind Ara Markarian from New York. While Keshgegian dominated the event last year, Hamparian came back to win his first title this year with 2454 points. He took every event except for the shot put and won by a comfortable margin of 158 points. Michael Nercesian of Detroit tallied 2103 points for the bronze, and Paul Chamesian took fourth for New Jersey.

The women’s competition started with the shot put. Sarkisian threw 25’ to beat her sister Kelsey by almost two feet and build an early 35 point lead. She expanded her lead by leaping 13’5” in the long jump and 4’2” in the high jump to win both of those events. Sarkisian now had a lead of over 300 points and had essentially secured the title. But the battle for second was on as her sister had a lead of only 33 points for that spot. While Jessica won the 200 meter dash with a time of 33.70, Dinkjian and Kelsey were both right behind her recording the same time so the difference remained at 33. In the final 800 meter run, Jessica won with 3:32.00 while Dinkjian tried to separate herself from the younger Sarkisian. But this time Kelsey held her off and earned enough points to secure the silver.

The men began in the discus circle where Hamparian surprised the field with a throw of 98’ to beat weight event specialist Nercesian by over a foot for a lead of 8 points. Keshgegian bounced back to toss the shot put 41’ which was Hamparian’s weakest event. After two events, Nercesian led with 1062 points while Keshgegian was ahead of Hamparian 998 to 972. Hamparian took the lead with a long jump of over 19’ which was about 7” more than Keshgegian. The three athletes were now separated by a scant total of 19 points. The fourth event was the 200 meter dash and Hamparian won with a time of 24.30 while Keshgegian and Nercesian both recorded a time of 25.00. So going into the final 1500 meter run, Hamparian’s lead was 74 points as he had a total of 2182 points. Meanwhile the battle for silver was extremely tight as they were separated by only five points. Hamparian was intent on setting a fast pace in that last event and succeeded in separating himself to secure the gold with a time of 5:58.10. Keshgegian slowly pulled away from his Detroit competitor to win the silver.

Bob Tutunjian

Bob Tutunjian

Bob Tutunjian is president of Vivaproducts, a medical device company in Massachusetts. He has been actively involved with the AYF and the Olympics since 1967 and has written many articles covering this event.
Bob Tutunjian

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