UIPM 2019 Pentathlon Junior World Championships: Russia strike first in Drzonkow (POL)
- Ibatullina & Fraltsova (RUS) come from behind in Laser Run
- Great Britain (Hannam & Bryson) hold on to silver after losing lead
- Czech Republic (Krenkova & Novotna) claim bronze on opening day
Russia took the opening gold medal of the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon Junior World Championships thanks to a decisive comeback from Adelina Ibatullina and Kseniia Fraltsova.
Russia (Ibatullina/Fraltsova) were back in 8th place after struggling in Fencing, and they started the Laser Run in 6th, with Egypt (Salma Abdelmaksoud & Mariam Amer) leading from Great Britain (Georgia Hannam & Kerenza Bryson).
However, none of the other nations was able to match the conviction of Russia (Ibatullina/Fraltsova) in running and shooting, and their Laser Run time of 12:02.00 enabled them to win gold by 11sec from Great Britain (Hannam/Bryson) with Czech Republic (Karolina Krenkova & Veronika Novotna) claiming bronze on the first day of the seasonal showpiece for Under 21 athletes.
Fraltsova (RUS), a gold medallist in the Mixed Relay alongside Serge Baranov (RUS) in 2018, said: “It was very interesting from the beginning to the end. Our best disciplines were Swimming and Laser Run.”
Ibatullina (RUS), who was individual Under 19 world champion in 2017, said she was looking forward to the start of the individual competition on Tuesday, and added: “We just want to work hard and get the best results that we can.”
Hannam (GBR) said before receiving her silver medal: “It’s been a really good day all around and we finished on a high. I’m happy with that performance.
“I’m hoping for a top-15, top-20 finish in the Women’s Individual. That would be a good target for the Finals.
“Thank you to our coaches and my family for all the support – without them I couldn’t get here so thank you very much.”
Bryson (GBR) added: “We both shot really well today and the combination over the four shoots was maybe 40sec, so we are really happy with that. I’m really pleased.
“I’d quite like a top ten in the Women’s Individual Final, but I wouldn’t be too disappointed with a top-10.
“Thank you to UK Sport and my sponsors, and all my coaches and in particular my family, who have always been there through the ups and downs.”
Krenkova (CZE) said before receiving her bronze medal: “I think it was a good day. We started with a good swim, it could have been better on Fencing especially me, but I think we had the best score in Riding and we were lucky to have really good horses.
“I want to say thank you to our coaches and our families – and also the organisation was very good.”
Novotna (CZE) added: “Kara started the Laser Run in 3rd place so we were close to the podium and we were thinking about the medal, but we knew that there were good runners, for example Russia.
“We knew it would be very hard and Kara gave me the first position, but my shooting is not the best, especially when I am stressed. The first shoot was good, but the second time I stayed too long and I tried to run my best, and we finished 3rd.
“I want to say thank you to my mum, who was here, and that for me was really good.”
Russia (Ibatullina/Fraltsova) put down a marker in the pool as they scored 301 points with a fastest time of 2:04.87. Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Amer) were less than 1sec behind in 2:05.72 while Czech Republic (Krenkova/Novotna) were comfortably next-fastest in 2:07.91.
A dominant performance by Great Britain (Hannam/Bryson) enabled them to build a strong overall lead. The British duo scored an impressive 21V/7D, three more victories than nearest challengers Germany (Carlotta Walser & Rebecca Langrehr) and Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Amer).
Russia (Ibatullina/Fraltsova) found life on the piste very difficult and their score of 13V/15D did little to mark them out as potential gold medallists, albeit they added three points in the Bonus Round. The real stars of the Bonus Round were Korea (Yoo Sumin & Park Naeun), who topped up their score by seven points.
The standard was high in the Riding arena, with three nations coming within 11 points of a perfect score. Czech Republic (Krenkova/Novotna) led the way with 291, one point more than France (Elise Coste & Axelle Gros).
After the disappointment of Fencing, Russia (Ibatullina/Fraltsova) held their nerve to remain in overall contention with a score of 289, while Great Britain (Hannam/Bryson) lost crucial ground by conceding 36 penalty points.
Great Britain (Hannam/Bryson) started with a lead of 11sec from Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Amer), but neither was able to take a stranglehold of the event and instead it was Czech Republic (Krenkova/Novotna) and Russia (Ibatullina/Fraltsova) who made up ground on the first two circuits.
In the second half of the race, Russia (Ibatullina/Fraltsova) and Great Britain (Hannam/Bryson) decisively moved past Czech Republic (Krenkova/Novotna) and that was the way it finished, with Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Amer) coming in 4th and France (Coste/Gros) 5th.
Italy (Alice Rinaudo & Maria Lea Lopez) rounded off the top six.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Drzonkow is where we had the first Junior World Championship in 1976 and we have a long tradition here.
“We saw in today’s Women’s Relay a new generation of athletes coming through. We had changes to the rankings in the shooting and I must say the whole performance of this young generation makes us proud.
“To see the development in many countries is encouraging. We had Chinese Taipei and Korea competing from Asia, and Africa and Central America were also represented. It’s very important that we have global representation at the Junior World Championships.
“Drzonkow is known as a centre for pentathlon training and competitions. Based on the excellent horses that have been developed over so many years, athletes know that they can depend on the horse that is drawn to them. They know the horse will have been well prepared.”
WATCH AND FOLLOW
The UIPM 2019 Junior World Championships in Drzonkow (POL) runs from July 7-13 and continues on Monday, July 8 with the Men’s Relay.
Visit the UIPM website or download “UIPM Central” from your app store to keep track of live results throughout the UIPM 2019 Junior World Championships.
|6||LOPEZ MARIA Lea