UIPM 2018 Junior World Championships: Czech duo strike gold in Men’s Relay
There was jubilation for the home nation on day two of the UIPM 2018 Junior World Championships as Czech Republic denied Korea the chance to retain their Men’s Relay title.
So Hyunseok and Seo Changwan proved to be every bit as strong as last year and went into the decisive Laser-Run in the lead on behalf of Korea. But they were denied by an exceptional performance from Marek Grycz and Martin Vlach, who surged past them to win by 7secs and earn the right to stand on top of the podium and hear the Czech Republic national anthem.
Behind the top two, Italy picked up a second bronze medal in consecutive days thanks to a solid performance by Matteo Cicinelli and Giorgio Malan.
Poland (Lukasz Gutkowski / Daniel Lawrynowicz) finished just off the podium in 4th, once place ahead of Great Britain (Myles Pillage / Luke Sutton), while there was another sign of progress from China (Liu Xinglong / Zhao Zhonghao), who completed the top six.
Vlach (CZE) said: “It’s amazing. After Riding I was worried that we couldn’t make it for the gold, but we did.
“At the beginning I felt quite angry, because my second shoot was very bad. I was looking all the time at my colleague from Korea. But in the end I just did my best.
“The beginning of my Fencing today was quite good so I hope in the individual it will be the same.”
So (KOR) said: “Generally it was OK, although the final event and especially shooting was difficult for me. But the Czechs did really well. I will do my best in the individual competition.
“We are training together with the senior guys in Korea, but they are in another league. We respect them and we want to be like them.”
Malan (ITA) said: “It was a good day. Other countries were very strong in the Laser-Run and we both made a mistake in the shooting, and that’s why we didn’t win, but 3rd place is very good.”
Great Britain (Pillage/Sutton) gave themselves a good lead with their speed in the pool. Their time of 1:47.48 was more than 3sec faster than second-placed Italy (Cicinelli/Malan, 1:50.78) with Argentina (Alexis Corradini Martinez / Vicente Lima) ranking 3rd in 1:51.84.
The action on the piste was a wonderful spectacle for local supporters as Czech Republic (Grycz/Vlach) topped the standings with an excellent 21V/11D and two extra points in the Bonus Round.
Once again Italy (Cicinelli/Malan) were not far behind the leaders as they matched Korea (So/Seo) on 21V/13D.
Korea (So/Seo) put themselves in pole position overall as they emerged with a clear round. Only two other nations managed a perfect score of 300: Poland (Gutkowski/Lawrynowicz) and Russia (Ivan Tarasov / Pavel Babanin).
Great Britain (Pillage/Sutton) came back into contention with 295 points, but Italy (Cicinelli/Malan) lost ground after two errors, conceding 14 points.
Czech Republic (Grycz/Vlach) started in 3rd place, 6secs behind Italy (Cicinelli/Malan) and 12secs behind leaders Korea (So/Seo).
Ten minutes later, the margin between the top two remained largely unchanged but the complexion of the competition was transformed by the local favourites, who completed the course in a highly impressive 10:27.99 to claim gold by a significant margin.
Czech Republic (Grycz/Vlach) proved untouchable but there were also good performances by Hungary (Andras Gal / Barnabas Burcsik, 10:33.60) and Poland (Gutkowski/Lawrynowicz, 10:38.16).
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Again the hot conditions were not easy for the athletes but it was impressive to see how strong they were in the Laser-Run at the end of the competition.
“As with yesterday with the Women’s Relay we had an exciting competition and the host country winning the gold medal is something very special, and a special gift the athletes have given to their federation and the organisers.
“To also have Korea in 2nd place, again representing Asia on the podium, and Italy on the other side shows it was another strong competition.”
The championships continue on August 2 and 3 with individual qualifying ahead of the Women’s Individual Final on August 4 and Men’s Individual Final on August 5. The Mixed Relay closes the championships on August 6.
|9||CORRADINI MARTINEZ Alexis
|12||MOURCIA Jean Baptiste