2023 African / Oceania Championships: Egypt and Australia celebrate Paris 2024 Olympic doubles
- Women’s top two Ismail (EGY) and Van Rensburg (AUS) secure quota places
- Tokyo 2020 medallist Ahmed Elgendy (EGY) beats team-mates to African men’s crown
- Lanskey (AUS) defeats Oliver (AUS) and Toyomura (NZL) in race for Oceania gold
Four more pentathletes have won Paris 2024 Olympic Games direct qualification quota places for their countries at the 2023 African / Oceania Championships.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallist Ahmed Elgendy of Egypt led the way by winning gold in the Men’s Final and becoming African champion, only five days after finishing 4th in the UIPM 2023 Pentathlon World Championships in Bath (EGY).
There was a greater element of surprise in the Women’s Final, as 18-year-old gold medallist Malak Ismail (EGY) won the African title and secured her country’s first Paris 2024 place for women, with 19-year-old Genevieve van Rensburg of Australia becoming Oceania champion courtesy of finishing an impressive 2nd overall.
The top Oceania finisher in the Men’s Final was Rhys Lanskey (AUS), who became the 24th athlete to secure a quota place for their country in the 2024 Games.
Elgendy, 23, defeated his younger brother Mohamed Elgendy (EGY) in the race for gold in their home capital of Cairo, with Eslam Hamed (EGY) completing a host nation 1-2-3 on the podium. Lanskey (AUS), 21, won an internal duel with Timothy Oliver (AUS) for Oceania gold, with Naoki Toyomura of New Zealand picking up bronze.
Ismail (EGY) had already become U19 world champion this summer but adding the senior continental title to her CV was a major accolade, finishing ahead of Van Rensburg (AUS) and two-time Olympian Haydy Morsy (EGY).
|Genevieve van Rensburg (AUS) secured an Olympic quota for her country.|
African women’s champion Ismail (EGY) said: “Firstly, I want to thank everyone who supported me through this journey, it was a tough season that’s ending very soon after the Junior World Championships, special thanks to my mother, my whole family, coaches and friends..
“This race was a hard one, as it was very strong competition between all the girls and of course a harder one as we were competing for an Olympic quota.
“I started Fencing in a good position, then Riding was very good, Swimming was great too and I started Laser Run in 2nd position. In the 3rd lap I was unfortunately in the 3rd position, I remained in this position till the last shooting, I entered it 3rd and got out of the range 1st!
“I don’t believe that I have done it! It was really an amazing and nice race for me. And of course I’m very proud of myself and for this great achievement, and still hungry for more.”
African men’s champion Elgendy (EGY) said: “I’m so happy to be qualified to Paris 2024 through the African Championships, it’s a dream coming true as I am looking forward for a new, historical win in Paris!”
Oceania women’s champion Van Rensburg (AUS) said: “There aren’t enough words for how happy and excited I am. This is honestly a dream come true! I am so grateful for my coaches, friends and family who have supported me through this journey. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Oceania men’s champion Lanskey (AUS) said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to come to Cairo and compete against some of the world’s best. Personally It’s been a difficult couple of years battling some injuries, and although I’m still a long way from my best, I am very happy to have come here and won the Oceania Championships and a quota place for Australia at the 2024 Paris Olympics.”
|Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Ahmed Elgendy (EGY)
Photo credit: Ehab Eid
Kitty Chiller OLY, President of the Oceania Modern Pentathlon Confederation, said: “On behalf of the Oceania Confederation I would like to sincerely thank the Egyptian Federation and African Confederation for hosting us in Cairo for this important event. It was extremely well organised and we were made to feel very welcome.
“There was a wonderful spirit of solidarity and support across all countries with everyone competing with respect and fair play. To see the more experienced teams helping the development athletes was wonderful.”
Sharif Elerian OLY, UIPM Vice President, said: “On behalf of the Egyptian Modern Pentathlon Federation and head of the local organising committee for this Paris 2024 qualifying competition for Africa and Oceania, I would like to congratulate CAPM, the African Confederation, for a great competition.
“We had six nations from Africa for the first time in Modern Pentathlon history – Egypt, South Africa, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda participated with good athletes in both male and female categories. This is a great accomplishment and I’m sure others will follow.
“We saw some great rivalries play out in the Individual Finals today and I congratulate the two athletes from Australia and two from Egypt for winning the quota places for Paris 2024. I wish Africa and Oceania all the best in Paris and I hope in future years to see much more athletes from much more countries from both continents.”
Watch and follow
The next competition with Paris 2024 Olympic qualification places at stake will be the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou (CHN) from September 20-24. Videos of the recent UIPM 2023 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships in Bath (GBR) can be watched at UIPM TV, where annual subscriptions cost €14.99.
All other events on the 2023 Modern Pentathlon and UIPM Sports competition calendar can be viewed here.
Click here for a full explanation of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Modern Pentathlon qualification process.