UIPM 2018 Junior World Championships: Ahmed Elgendy (EGY) completes epic double
Four months ago Ahmed Elgendy of Egypt announced himself on the world stage by winning Men’s Individual gold at the UIPM Under 19 Tetrathlon World Championships. Today he went one better.
Aged just 18, Elgendy (EGY) is now the holder of two global individual titles after an incredible performance in the Men's Individual Final at the UIPM 2018 Junior World Championships.
The bespectacled teenager started the Laser-Run 37secs behind the leader, Gustav Gustenau of Austria, who shot with excellent composure and looked like a strong bet for gold. But on the third lap he suddenly found a rival on his shoulder, and Elgendy (EGY) used his electric speed to take the lead before finishing the job with a stunning 6sec shoot at the last visit to the range.
Gustenau (AUT), a 21-year-old former ice hockey player who has twice finished in the top 10 at the CISM Military World Championships, eased home for silver ahead of Ivan Khamtsou of Belarus, who shrugged off a poor Riding performance to secure bronze.
So competitive was the Laser-Run that the next three finishers had all started the race outside the top 12: Serge Baranov of Russia finished 4th, Lukasz Gutkowski of Poland was one place further back and Martin Vlach pleased the Czech Republic home crowd by completing the top six.
Hungary (Bence Kardos / Illes Szabo / Balint Bernath) won team gold ahead of silver medallists Korea (So Hyunseok / Seo Changwan / Kim Sedong), while Italy picked up their fifth medal of the week as Matteo Cicinelli, Giorgio Malan and Roberto Micheli secured bronze.
Individual gold medallist Elgendy (EGY), who also won silver at the 1st FISU World University Championships a month ago, said: “It was amazing because I came from 8th to 1st and I shot very nicely today.
“The semi-final was not good for me but this was a good day in Riding, Fencing and Swimming, and I’m very happy to achieve this medal.
“This is my second gold medal at a World Championships this year, so I’m very happy today.”
Gustenau (AUT): “The day started with a fantastic Swimming time, I had a few problems at the start of the Fencing but after a third of the bouts I came back very strong, and in the Riding I just tried to have a safe round.
“At the beginning of the Laser-Run I was a bit nervous, because there was a strong chasing pack, but in the end I’m just very happy that I finished 2nd and finished my last year as a junior with a medal.
“Not everybody in Austria know pentathlon, and I think after this race maybe I’m a bit more famous and I won’t have to explain my sport if somebody asks me on the street.”
Hungary coach Janos Martinek, the multiple world champion and Seoul 1988 Olympic Games double gold medallist, said of his team’s success: “I am half and half: in one eye I am happy and in the other eye I am crying because in Fencing, two of our team were very bad. The guys can do it better but today wasn’t good.
“Fencing is the reason we missed out on an individual medal today. Maybe later will be better.”
Typically, Myles Pillage of Great Britain was quickest to finish his 200m freestyle in a time of 1:58.81, but Gustenau (AUT) also went under 2mins in 1:5972. Third-fastest was Elgendy (EGY) in 2:00.87.
A dominant performance by Khamtsou (BLR) catapulted him into the podium equation. He recorded 28 victories and just seven defeats, winning four more bouts than any other competitor. But Gustenau (AUT) continued his high-class performance with 24V/11D, the same score as Balint (HUN).
In the Bonus Round, Paolo Singh of France and Elgendy (EGY) each added four points to their overall tally.
There was drama in the Riding arena as Khamtsou (BLR) faltered badly, conceding 33 penalty points to effectively end his pursuit of gold. Elgendy (EGY) also lost ground with a score of 280, while Gustenau (AUT) took the overall lead with 295.
Four riders managed a perfect score of 300: Vicente Lima of Argentina, Balasz Szep (HUN), Cicinelli (ITA) and Jan Kauffmann of Germany.
Gustenau (AUT) started out with a 8sec cushion over Pillage (GBR) and 17sec over Bernath (HUN). The leader kept both of them at bay but all the time his captor was waiting in the wings.
Elgendy (EGY) timed his assault perfectly, taking big chunks out of the deficit on the first two laps to move from 8th to 2nd, and then moving past Gustenau (AUT) with ruthless efficiency.
So high was the Laser-Run standard that the winner’s time of 10:46.55 did not even rank in the top three. Kardos (HUN) was quickest around the course in 10:37.44, ahead of home favourite Martin Vlach (CZE) in 10:44.78 and Baranov (RUS) in 10:45.30.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Today we had an exciting competition both for the individual and the team medals. We had three continents on the podium, which shows the strength of our global movement.
“We saw good performances in the Riding today, and then in the Laser-Run we saw an unbelievable performance from a young Egyptian athlete. Laser-Run is such an exciting spectacle and I’m sure we had great pictures on the live television coverage.
“Thank you to the athletes first, and to the organisers who have enabled us to enjoy a real highlight of the season. Today we had a good number of spectators and tomorrow we will have 20 teams for the Mixed Relay, which is a great number.”
The UIPM 2018 Junior World Championships conclude on August 6 with the Mixed Relay.
All results and reports are available at the UIPM website and updates from the Mixed Relay will be published on the UIPM’s Twitter page and on Facebook, where you can watch live coverage of the Laser-Run.
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