UIPM 2021 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships: Lifanov and Kuznetsov win Men’s Relay gold
- RMPF duo celebrate success on day two in Cairo (EGY)
- Jun and Jung come from behind to take silver for Korea
- China claim bronze thanks to Zhang and Han
Alexander Lifanov and Maxim Kuznetsov (RMPF) prevailed in a tight Men’s Relay to win gold on the second day of the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships.
Lifanov & Kuznetsov (RMPF) eased to the finish line 5sec ahead of silver medallists Korea (Woongtae Jun & Jinhwa Jung), who emerged victorious from a close mini-battle with bronze medallists China (Linbin Zhang & Jiahao Han).
The contest for silver was the main point of intrigue, and the more experienced Korea duo (Jun/Jung) finally overpowered their rivals.
But there was no danger of China (Zhang/Han) missing out on the chance to complete an Asian double on the medal podium, underlining their hunger for success with the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in neighbouring Japan just weeks away.
A day of high-quality combat across the five disciplines ended with 4th place for France (Christopher Patte & Ugo Fleurot), one place ahead of Hungary (Balazs Szep and Gergely Regos).
Korea duo (Jun/Jung) set the fastest time in the pool (1:50.82) but only after a tense battle with Belarus (Kirill Kasyanik & Yauheni Arol) and United States (Tyler Evans & Amro Elgeziry), both of whom went under 1:52.
Lifanov & Kuznetsov (RMPF) emerged as top performers on the piste, scoring 20V/6D with China (Zhang/Han) two victories behind them.
There was also a notable performance from Mexico (Manuel Padilla & Duilio Carrillo), who scored 17V/9D and added three points in the Bonus Round. There was something to cheer for the host nation as Egypt (Mohanad Shaban & Alyeldin Sewilam) scored four additional points after struggling in the Ranking Round.
After three eliminations in the Women’s Relay 24 hours earlier, there were no such issues for the men as five of the 14 competing nations registered a maximum score of 300, with another four incurring only time penalties.
China (Zhang/Han) managed an almost perfect 299 to close the overall gap on Lifanov & Kuznetsov (RMPF), who like Korea (Jun/Jung) scored 293.
With only a 2sec starting lead over China (Zhang/Han), it could have been a nervous experience for Lifanov & Kuznetsov (RMPF) but they never lost control of the race and all of the drama unfolded behind them.
Han (CHN) struggled at the second visit to the shooting range, enabling Jun (KOR) to make up ground and then overtake his rival on the second lap.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. At the fourth shoot there was another change as Jung (KOR) suffered an attack of nerves and gave Zhang (CHN) the chance to catch him and then move ahead. However, 2017 individual world champion Jung (KOR) caught his opponent in a breathless finish on the final lap to secure silver.
Gold medallist Lifanov (RMPF) said: “I’m very happy because it’s my first world title. It’s my first senior world medal and it’s gold.
“We wanted this medal very much because we have some problems in the men’s team in Russia and I think this medal will give some good emotions to our team.
“It’s very hot weather and I was very tired running the second lap. It’s very good that the organisers decided to make the Laser Run at 7pm because I think at 5pm some sportspeople would die here!
“I will try to qualify for the individual final, let’s see how the semi-final goes.”
Silver medallist Jun (KOR) said: “My team-mate Jung is in great condition and today we had a very good position – we’re so happy.”
“We had a good race with the China team, it was very close. We had a good plan and we were pleased to beat the China team.”
Jung (KOR) added: “In two months we have the Olympic Games and we are working very hard to be ready. Korea and Japan are very close and we hope to win at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
Bronze medallist Zhang (CHN) said: “We’re tired and a little bit sore. The temperature is very high and we lose water from the body very fast.
“I hope to qualify for the Men’s Individual Final but the most important thing is to enjoy the experience.”
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “We had a very successful second day of the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships with an exciting finish to the Men’s Relay.
“Congratulations to the RMPF athletes who won and also to the Korea and China athletes winning silver and bronze – once again underlining that Modern Pentathlon is a global sport.
“The athletes performed fantastically in all disciplines, understanding that we have very hot weather conditions here – this is already good preparation for Tokyo where we may have even higher temperatures.
“Everything that has been done so far at these World Championships was as planned, and the athletes have shown how well they have prepared. Now we are looking forward to the individual competitions with the big highlight of Olympic qualification on Saturday and Sunday, followed by the Mixed Relay.
“All the best to the athletes and I hope we will also have very successful elections to the UIPM Athletes and Coaches Committees in the coming days.”
Watch and follow
The Women’s and Men’s Individual Finals and Mixed Relay at the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Championships will be televised live or ‘as live’ around the world – detailed information about TV broadcasters will be available in due course at the UIPM website.
As of March 15, 2021, the majority of Modern Pentathlon content on UIPM TV (UIPMTV.org) became available only to subscribers. Live coverage of the Laser Run in each competition – together with highlights from earlier in the day – remains free to view.
Annual subscriptions are priced at €29.99 with a special 50% discount (code: UIPM50%OFF) available throughout 2021, reducing the price to €14.95.
- Sign up here for your UIPM TV Yearly Pass or register for free content
Viewers who do not wish to subscribe can register their details on the site to access the free coverage, which will not be available anywhere else online. More information.
UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Championships
(* live stream on UIPM TV)
June 10: Women’s Qualification
June 11: Men’s Qualification | Women’s Final Fencing Ranking Round
June 12: Men’s Final Fencing Ranking Round | Women’s Final*
June 13: Men’s Final*
June 14: Mixed Relay*
UIPM 2021 Laser Run World Championships
June 12: Women’s Individual
June 13: Men’s Individual
June 14: Mixed Relays