UIPM 2016 Biathle-Triathle World Championships: Henrard (FRA) interrupts USA gold rush
Alexandre Henrard of France confirmed his status as a master of multiple UIPM Sports with two gold medals at the 2016 UIPM Biathle-Triathle World Championships.
Henrard, 24, claimed men’s individual gold in Biathle (Run/Swim/Run), 24 hours after he had conquered the field in Triathle (Swim/Run/Shoot).
In 2015, the French star won both of these competitions and also came out on top at the Laser-Run World Championships, so his tally of senior UIPM golds now stands at an incredible five in two years.
On the final day Henrard (FRA) fended off a strong local and global challenge to reassert his Biathle supremacy ahead of silver medallist Tomas Svoboda (CZE) and bronze medallist Ricardo Rego (POR).
After picking up his Biathle gold, he said he would be aiming to perform well on the UIPM World Cup circuit next year while also attempting to defend his titles at the 2017 Biathle-Triathle World Championships.
“I am a pentathlete, so I do Fencing and Riding too, but to win back-to-back with both titles was definitely my aim and it will be the same next year,” he said.
“Next year I have to qualify for the first World Cup through the French Championships, but normally I would participate in two World Cups per year - I just don’t know which ones it will be.”
More than 500 athletes from 25 countries gathered on the west coast of Florida to participate in the championships, with the USA winning all of the senior gold medals except the two claimed by Henrard (FRA).
Athletes aged from the Youth F category (eight and under) to Masters competed in two different formats over three days at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, which was the host of the 2016 UIPM World Cup Final.
Other highlights of the 2016 Biathle-Triathle World Championships included:
- Samantha Achterberg and Erin Storie (USA) brought delight to the host nation as they won senior women’s Triathle and Biathle gold respectively
- Erin Storie teamed up with husband Logan Storie to also win Mixed Relay Biathle gold for USA, while Achterberg and Dennis Bowsher (USA) took the Mixed Relay Triathle title
- Africa was well represented with South Africa and Egypt enjoying excellent results across the age-group spectrum, winning multiple gold and silver medals
- Pakistan competed in the open division for the first time and claimed two gold medals
Erin Storie's individual Biathle success came ahead of Lushano Adendorff Smit (RSA) in 2nd place with Achterberg (USA) completing the podium.
Janusz Peciak, the UIPM Executive Board Member for Sport and the 1976 Olympic men’s champion in Modern Pentathlon, said: “I am very impressed with the enthusiasm and passion of so many kids participating in these events.
“This is very important because pentathlon is the next step and the numbers are growing and growing, and also the atmosphere here is good with parents involved.
“I can see how this is good for the development of pentathlon worldwide that we are doing these kind of events.
“You see how well countries like South Africa are competing, and also India and Argentina are others. This is good for our sport and I believe in five or six years South Africa will be one of the top sports in pentathlon.”