UIPM 2019 Youth World Championships (U19 & U17): Egypt kick off with Men’s Relay gold
- Karim & Mohamed (EGY) defeat Korea in dramatic U19 opener
- Russia hold off France to win bronze in Sofia (BUL)
- U17 women qualify for final in first combined championships
Egypt crowned a historic day with gold as Noureldin Karim and Omar Mohamed won the Under 19 Men’s Relay at the first-ever combined UIPM Youth World Championships (U19 / U17).
The opening day of the championships also featured qualification for the U17 Women’s Individual Final but it was a gripping duel between the senior youths from Egypt and Korea (Hyeong Taegeuk & Lee Suhan) that brought a dramatic close to proceedings in Sofia.
The result was a reversal of the UIPM 2018 U19 World Championships in Caldas da Rainha (POR), where Korea triumphed in the Men’s Relay with Egypt picking up bronze behind silver medallists China.
Behind the race for gold was an equally compelling contest for bronze, eventually won by Russia (Andrei Smirnov & Anton Gadetckii) ahead of France (Mathis Rochat & Melvin Perrier).
Great Britain (George Case & Toby Price) finished 5th and Germany (Marc Spletzer & Alexander Netz) completed the top six.
HOW THE MEDALS WERE WON
France (Rochat/Perrier) led the way in Swimming with a time of 1:55.55, closely followed by Italy (Giorgio Micheli & Federico Alessandro) and Sweden (Jakob & Ludvig Rasmuson).
Hungary (Dominik Szentpronai & Peter Andras Barany) stood out in Fencing with 27V/15D, managing one more victory in the Ranking Round than Korea (Hyeong/Lee) and two more than Great Britain (Case/Price) and Germany (Spletzer/Netz). Italy (Micheli/Alessandro) added seven points in the Bonus Round.
Korea (Hyeong/Lee) started the Laser Run with a 3sec advantage over Hungary (Szentpronai/Barany) and Germany (Spletzer/Netz) and Great Britain (Case/Price) coming immediately after them.
The big movers were Egypt (Karim/Mohamed) and France (Rochat/Perrier), who started with handicaps of 20sec and 31sec respectively. The excellence of these two teams created two mini-contests, both of which were settled only with sprints to the line on a thrilling final lap.
Click here to see the full results.
Karim (EGY) said: “It’s an amazing feeling. I think we organised the disciplines well. We started with Swimming and he was better, and same with Fencing, and in the end I think we just played the game well.
“I’m looking forward to the individual semi-finals and final, and hopefully we’ll get another gold medal there – or any medal.
“I would like to thank all my coaches and family, especially my grandmother, because she died recently. I give her this medal.”
Mohamed (EGY) added: “I am very happy with the victory today, and I hope to achieve more in the future. I dedicate the medal to my family and friends and my coaches, and to my partner.”
Fifty-two athletes took part in qualification for the U17 Women’s Individual Final, with Ohta Natsu and Ohta Kaede of Japan emerging as the top two performers, followed by Anastasia Malasenoka of Latvia.
The 36 successful qualifiers for the final on Saturday, 20 July are listed below.
HOST NATION REACTION
Andrey Kuzmanov, President of the Bulgarian Modern Pentathlon Federation, said: “I’m very glad that Bulgaria is hosting this UIPM competition, which for the first time is for both Under 17 and Under 19 athletes.
“The first day went really well with a lot of athletes from 40 nations here in Bulgaria. I hope that the rest of the competition will also go very well. I’m very glad to welcome all the young athletes and their coaches here, and I hope they will enjoy their stay in Bulgaria and that we will welcome them again.”
WATCH AND FOLLOW
The UIPM 2019 Youth World Championships (U19 / U17) in Sofia (BUL) runs from July 18-24 and continues on Friday, July 19 with the U19 Women’s Relay and qualification for the U17 Men’s Individual Final.
Visit the UIPM website or download “UIPM Central” from your app store to keep track of live results throughout the championships. Follow UIPM on Facebook or Twitter to see daily video and photo highlights.
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