UIPM 2019 Youth World Championships (U19 & U17): Golden joy for Korea and hosts Bulgaria
- Kim and Yoon (KOR) enjoy big win in U19 Mixed Relay
- Great Britain secure silver ahead of bronze medallists Mexico
- Zgurova (BUL) lights up Sofia with dramatic U17 women’s gold
An unforgettable moment of joy for host nation Bulgaria and an outstanding performance by Korea lit up day three of the UIPM Youth World Championships (U19 & U17).
In a competition marked so far by dramatic photo finishes, the U19 Mixed Relay became a smooth procession as Kim Jaehak and Yoon Yangji (KOR) took gold by an impressive 14sec.
Great Britain picked up silver thanks to an excellent Laser Run by Sarah Wilson and Joshua Hood, while bronze went to Catherine Mayran Oliver and Miguel Alexis Vazquez of Mexico, ensuring representation for three continents on the podium.
This intriguing Mixed Relay climax came one hour after a 16-year-old athlete had become the toast of Sofia. Svetla Zgurova (BUL) won an impressive individual gold medal in the U17 Women’s Final, holding off intense competition from Hungary rivals Dorina Dobronyi and Dorka Sara Toth, who joined her on the podium.
U19 MIXED RELAY
Russia set the pace in the Swimming pool thanks to a time of 02:01.20 from Maria Samoilova and Andrei Smirnov. Not far behind were Australia duo Tully Watt and Rhys Lanskey (02:02.66), with Mikita Piatrouski and Darya Latsevich of Belarus third-fastest (02:03.54).
Hungary topped the Fencing standings after Nora Killai-Simoka and Bence Katona scored 28V/12D in the Ranking Round. Mexico (Oliver/Vazquez) and Great Britain (Wilson/Hood) put themselves in the frame with 26 and 25 victories respectively.
Russia (Samoilova/Smirnov) set off first in the Laser Run but they struggled to find any rhythm, as did Hungary (Killai-Simoka/Katona), and both were left trailing by Korea (Kim/Yoon) and Mexico (Oliver/Vazquez) and, eventually, Great Britain (Wilson/Hood).
Great Britain (Wilson/Hood) overcame a 22sec starting handicap to win silver with the fastest Laser Run time of the day, 11:26.40, while 11:30.30 was fast enough for Korea (Kim/Yoon) to win gold without alarm.
Guatemala duo Paula Sofia Valencia and Andres Fernandez finished 4th after a rapid 11:30.80, with Ukraine (Olha Klunnikova & Valentyn Ilkiv) crossing the line 5th and Turkey (Yaren Nur Polat & Hakan Can Gungor) in 6th.
Click here to see the full results.
U17 WOMEN’S FINAL
Another extraordinarily close finish saw four athletes separated by just 4sec at the finish line of the U17 Women’s Final.
Individual victory went to the athlete who started first, Zgurova (BUL), to the delight of the home crowd, but only after she held off the challenge of two chasing Hungarians.
Dobronyi (HUN) couldn’t quite snare the gold medal but she grabbed silver from her team-mate Toth (HUN) after a photo finish. Anastasia Malasenoka of Latvia was only 2sec further back, narrowly missing out on the podium.
It was a European-dominated final, with Elizaveta Tychkina of Russia finishing 5th and Nela Szczur of Poland completing the top six.
Zgurova (BUL) had been fastest in the Swimming event, timing 2:14.95 ahead of Gina Speakman of Great Britain (2:16.49) and Reka Kozma (HUN, 2:18.00).
Toth (HUN) was comfortably the quickest around the Laser Run circuit, timing 09:09.90, with Dobronyi (HUN) and Malasenoka (LAT) next-fastest.
Hungary won gold in the team event and they were joined on the podium by Russia (silver) and Poland (bronze).
Click here to see the full results.
Viacheslav Malishev, UIPM Executive Board Member for Development, said: “It was a great day, like the previous two days. We have witnessed a fantastic competition and this is a historic moment for UIPM with the U19 and U17 World Championships combined.
“Most importantly we see happy young athletes and coaches and a great atmosphere here in Sofia.
“In the remaining four days I hope to see many different countries from different continents enjoying success. Today we saw Great Britain, Mexico and Korea together on the podium, which shows Pentathlon is a worldwide sport with progressive development.”
WATCH AND FOLLOW
The UIPM 2019 Youth World Championships (U19 & U17) in Sofia (BUL) runs from July 18-24 and continues on Sunday, July 21 with the U17 Men’s Final and qualification for the U19 Women’s Final.
Visit the UIPM website or download “UIPM Central” from your app store to keep track of live results throughout the championships.