UIPM 2018 Junior World Championships: Russia grab first gold in Mixed Relay
Kseniia Fraltsova and Serge Baranov came from behind to earn Mixed Relay gold for Russia on the final day of the UIPM 2018 Junior World Championships.
It was first medal of the championships for Russia, while France also broke their duck as Paolo Singh and Emma Riff denied Great Britain (Holly Parker / James Harper) bronze by just 1sec.
Korea took home their third medal as Kim Unju and Seo Changwan secured silver.
In the final analysis, 12 nations went home with medals from Kladno (CZE), representing four of UIPM’s continental confederations (Europe, Asia, Africa and NORCECA).
As with last year, Italy were the top-performing nation. They won five medals including two golds, while Korea and China each claimed three medals and the other five gold medals were spread between host nation Czech Republic, Egypt, Guatemala, Hungary and Russia.
Russia (Fraltsova/Baranov) performed very strongly in the decisive Laser-Run to overturn a deficit of 12sec and ultimately win by 7sec from Korea (Kim/Seo), with France (Singh/Riff) a further 6sec behind.
Fraltsova (RUS) said after the medal ceremony: “Thank you very much, it was the first medal for Team Russia at this Junior World Championships. It was very difficult today but we did what we could and we are happy.”
Kim (KOR) said: “I concentrated on every discipline and that’s why I was able to get a great result. It wasn’t easy but I tried my best.
Seo (KOR) Added: “Thanks to her [Kim], I got a great result. Fencing and Riding were not so easy, but I made it.”
Singh (FRA) said: “We went through a lot of emotions. I am so proud to achieve this medal in front of my family and with my team-mate Emma, who is super-strong and has a bright future.
“Thank you very much to my supporters and congratulations to UIPM for organising such a great event.”
Belarus (Katjarina Sukora / Yauheni Arol) were quickest in the pool with a time of 1:58.15, while Egypt (Salma Abdelmaksoud / Ahmed Elgendy) also went under 2mins with 1:59.55. Russia (Fraltsova/Baranov) were third-fastest after timing 2:00.58.
A very tight Ranking Round resulted in a top score of 24V/14D for Czech Republic (Aranka Chalupnikova / Vojtech Hercik) and Belarus (Sukora/Arol). Korea (Kim/Seo) were the next highest scorers with 23V/15D and three bonus points.
Hungary (Alexandra Boros / Bence Kardos) were the stars of the Bonus Round, adding five points to their overall tally.
The Riding arena took its pound of flesh and left only one team fully intact. Russia (Fraltsova/Baranov) were the only duo to achieve a perfect score of 300, followed by Great Britain (Parker/Harper) on 291 and Hungary (Boros/Kardos) on 290.
With no team emerging as the dominant force throughout the day, Belarus (Sukora/Arol) started the Laser-Run with a 3sec lead over Great Britain (Parker/Harper), with Russia (Fraltsova/Baranov) a further 9sec behind and Hungary (Boros/Kardos), France (Riff/Singh) and Korea (Kim/Seo) all tightly bunched behind them.
Ultimately it was Russia (Fraltsova/Baranov) who proved to be the big winners with a Laser-Run time of 11:03.51 that propelled them to victory. Runners-up Korea (Kim/Seo) were next quickest around the course with 11:07.06 while France (Riff/Singh) timed 11:14.56.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Today the Mixed Relay was contested by 20 nations who provided a big challenge, and we look forward to seeing another big number taking part in the Mixed Relay at the Senior World Championships in Mexico City.
“It was great to see a lot of countries on the podium, with Russia on top and Korea representing Asia again. It was great also to see the spirit of the Mixed Relay on show today. The Mixed Relay is very important to our movement and we hope to see it on the programme for the Olympic Games in future.”
Bohumil Hradka, President of the Czech Modern Pentathlon Association, said: “It was a very successful competition for us. We had a perfect team of judges, who improve with every competition, and they managed the competition very well.
“We are very happy with the results of our Czech team. We started very well with a big success with the gold medal in the Men’s Relay, and then we had an 8th place and a 6th place in the individual finals. It could have been better but I think the results overall were very good.
“We are looking forward to hosting the UIPM Pentathlon World Cup here in the Czech Republic in 2019.”
All results and reports from the UIPM 2018 Junior World Championships are available at the UIPM website.
The next event on the UIPM calendar is the 2018 UIPM Pentathlon World Championships in Mexico City (MEX) from September 6-15.