UIPM 2021 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships: Marosi (HUN) rolls back the years
- Modern Pentathlon legend, 36, secures Olympic quota place with first world title since 2009
- Lifanov (RMPF) claims silver as Elgendy (EGY) earns Tokyo 2020 quota place with bronze
- Laser Run gold medals for Egypt, Italy, South Africa and USA
The maturity required to be a Modern Pentathlon champion was underlined for the second time in one weekend as Adam Marosi of Hungary reclaimed the individual world title.
A few weeks out from his 37th birthday, Marosi (HUN) proved again that there is a unique blend of physical and mental skills that separate good from great pentathletes, and age is certainly no barrier. He earned the crown 24 hours after another two-time winner, 35-year-old Anastasiya Prokopenko of Belarus, had regained the women’s title.
Twelve years have passed since Marosi (HUN) first became world champion in London (GBR) in 2009, and it was three years later that he stood on the podium in the same city with an Olympic bronze at London 2012. Now he is likely to get a third crack at the ultimate prize, having earned an automatic quota place at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Games.
Marosi (HUN) was unchallenged in the Laser Run after he and silver medallist Alexander Lifanov (RMPF) jointly created an unassailable lead with strong performances across the other three disciplines. For Lifanov (RMPF), an individual podium confirmed his excellent form after he won gold in the Men’s Relay alongside Maxim Kusnetzov earlier in the week.
Behind them, the sand was flying as a host of athletes scrambled for that coveted bronze medal and the final opportunity to qualify automatically for Tokyo. An exceptional performance by Ahmed Elgendy of Egypt sent the home crowd into ecstasy and gave the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games champion a chance to complete his transition to senior on the biggest stage of all.
The irresistible kick of Elgendy (EGY) was hard on his team-mate, Ahmed Hamed (EGY), who crossed the line just 5sec later – he will now have to wait and see if the Egypt selectors put their faith in his strong form when finalising their two selections.
Another athlete facing an anxious wait will be Fabian Liebig of Germany, who again demonstrated his form with 5th place, one place ahead of Woongtae Jun of Korea.
While selectors in countries with multiple options mull over their choices, attention in other nations will turn to the final composition of the UIPM Olympic World Ranking List, where today’s 7th-placed athlete Ilya Palazkov of Belarus can be confident of a high finish.
The team gold went to Hungary, with Marosi joined on the podium by Bence Demeter (9th) and Richard Bereczki (25th), with Germany winning silver thanks to Liebig and the Dogue brothers Patrick (10th) and Marvin (14th), but the night ended on a high for the host nation as Egypt were awarded bronze thanks to Elgendy, Hamed and Eslam Hamad (27th).
Marosi (HUN) said: “The final started yesterday and I had a brilliant fence. I could defend and attack and it was brilliant.
"The hardest moment was the last 24 hours, because after a good fence you always think about the podium and of course the gold medal.
"My Swimming and Riding were good, I enjoyed that, but the Laser Run was so, so hard - the hardest Laser Run of my life. To be in first position is difficult, and the sand was very deep.
"Finally I did it and I'm so, so happy.
"In a few weeks I will be 37 years old, and I don't know who is the oldest world champion but maybe it happened today, maybe it's me.
"I hope my national team will say yes and I can go to Tokyo. I can taste the feeling now, I can taste the moment. Maybe I will cry on the podium."
Lifanov (RMPF) said: “Yesterday it started with a good fence and it continued today and I performed my average in Swimming and then had a good ride.
"In Laser Run I could see them coming behind me in third or fourth place and I was very worried I couldn't save it, but I managed it.
"It's my first senior World Championships medal and I didn't have any medals in the World Cups. And then suddenly, silver. I'm very happy, I can't explain it."
Elgendy (EGY) said: “Coming from 15th to 3rd, it was a very hard race and a very hard track.
"I did it, and the most important thing is that I qualified for Tokyo and it's an automatic place.
"My target was to qualify through the rankings, and I didn't have a very good fence but I closed the gap in Swimming, a little bit more in Riding and then Laser Run - I did it!"
One of the breakthrough athletes of this Olympic cycle has been Gustav Gustenau of Austria, and he won a gripping final heat in 2:00.48, ahead of Pavlo Zvedeniuk of Ukraine (2:01.29) and Jun (KOR) in 2:02.33.
The 2017 world champion, Jinhwa Jung (KOR), was next-fastest after touching the wall in tandem with Elgendy (EGY) in 2:02.68.
A high-quality Ranking Round ended with Lifanov (RUS) edging Marosi (HUN) by a single bout, 27V/8D to 26V/9D.
Three athletes managed 24 victories, and it was Justinas Kinderis (LTU) who returned in the Bonus Round with four extra points to outshine Aleix Heredia Vives of Spain and Palazkov (BLR). The reigning world champion, Valentin Belaud of France, remained in contention with 21V/14D.
If Fencing could not have gone much better for former champion Kinderis (LTU), Riding could not have gone much worse and he submitted the second-worst score of the day after picking up 52 penalties.
At the other end of the happiness scale were the two leaders, Marosi (HUN) and Lifanov (RMPF) each of whom scored a perfect 300 along with Marek Grycz of Czech Republic, Liebig (GER) and team-mates Brice Loubet and Pierre Dejardin (FRA), while Belaud (FRA) dropped only two points for time.
If the 26sec gap between 2nd and 3rd made it a two-horse race for gold, the dash for bronze was never going to be straight-forward.
Palazkov (BLR) did his best to make it so, and the threat of Belaud (FRA) behind him never quite materialised, but Hamed (EGY) in 8th and Elgendy (EGY) in 15th never let him out of their sights.
With supporters urging them on from trackside, the local heroes ripped through the first two laps and moved into the podium equation on the third circuit, where Elgendy (EGY) romped past Palazkov (BLR) into a 3rd place that he was never going to relinquish with his effortless sharp shooting and youthful athleticism.
Ahead of him, Marosi (HUN) never had cause to look over his shoulder despite three consecutive 17sec shoots, but Lifanov (RUS) also maintained a good running pace to offset his inaccuracy at the range.
A worthy gold, silver and bronze medallist ascended the podium, looking into the night sky and towards the Far East with a surge of confidence to go with their hope.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “In becoming the men’s world champion in Modern pentathlon, Adam Marosi has shown, like Anastasiya Prokopenko yesterday, that it doesn’t matter what age you are.
“Adam is the oldest athlete and he has performed at such a high level from the beginning of this final, so I think the Hungarian Modern Pentathlon Association – who also won a team gold medal – can be very happy and proud.
“The competition for the men today was very high, as we expected because they were still trying to qualify for the Olympic Games, to have the best possible placement.
“The conditions were good, the horses and the facilities were well prepared and we’re having a very fair World Championships, and we are looking forward in a few days to seeing the final list of participants for Tokyo 2020 that the real elite of the elite will compete in Tokyo
“Thanks again to the coaches who have prepared the athletes at a high level, and to the athletes who have never given up the motivation to compete in this season through all the World Cups, the World Cup Final and now the World Championships as an Olympic qualification competition.
“We are very grateful to the organisers who have arranged competition in this very difficult time of COVID-19 and we are so happy that we didn’t have to discuss any positive tests or any protests – it has been a fair competition and a great competition.
“Tomorrow the Mixed Relay will be another highlight and we will see which countries will be on the podium, but I’m sure again we will have many athletes who are highly motivated to promote our Mixed Relay.”
Laser Run World Championships
United States completed a senior double and host nation Egypt continued to dominate the youth categories on day two of the UIPM 2021 Laser Run World Championships.
Three-time Olympian Amro Elgeziry (USA) took home the senior men’s gold medal 24 hours after the victory of his team-mate and fellow pentathlete Claire Green (USA), winning by 23sec from Abdelrahman Hussein (EGY).
Youseef Alyan (EGY) claimed the junior gold, following six of his youth team-mates onto the top of the podium: Rani Zaid (Under 9), Moutaz Bandari (U11), Younis Khalil (U13), Tarek Sadek (U15), Aamer Edris (U17) and Moutaz Mohamed (U19).
In the Masters categories, Tiaan Rossouw (RSA) was unbeatable at 40+ with compatriot Johan Windt (RSA) winning the 60+ title. The 50+ gold went to Emanuele Gambini of Italy.
The UIPM Laser Run World Championships, which was initiated in 2015 in Perpignan (FRA), is being incorporated into the UIPM Pentathlon World Championships for the second time after the debut of the combined competition in Budapest (HUN) in 2019.
Watch and follow
Tomorrow’s Mixed Relay at the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Championships will be televised live or ‘as live’ around the world – find out how to watch the action in your country.
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|14||DOGUE Marvin Faly||GER||1376|
|15||HEREDIA VIVES Aleix||ESP||1374|
|29||PARISI Giuseppe Mattia||ITA||1338|