UIPM 2021 Pentathlon Junior World Championships: Belarus end on a high with Mixed Relay gold
- Etsina & Berazavik (BLR) replicate senior medal success on final day
- First medal for Poland as Pydyszewska & Klimek hold on to silver
- Guatemala take bronze thanks to Valencia Franco & Fernandez
Belarus have been one of the dominant nations in senior Modern Pentathlon in recent years and their juniors provided a golden climax to the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon Junior World Championships.
Katsiaryna Etsina and Uladzislau Berazavik (BLR) didn’t just win the Mixed Relay, they blew the field away, suggesting that the nation’s future in the sport is in good hands once the likes of Anastasiya Prokopenko and Ilya Palazkov hand over to the next generation.
After a dominant performance in Fencing, Belarus (Etsina/Berazavik) refused to let a sloppy Riding performance ruin their day and they finally won by 25sec from Poland duo Ewa Pydyszewska & Maciej Klimek.
The Poles’ success was their first medal of the competition and the bronze medallists also broke their duck for the week – as Paula Valencia Franco and Andres Fernandez gave Guatemala something to take home.
Winning the Mixed Relay meant that Belarus finished joint-second in the competition medals table alongside Egypt with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal. Hungary topped the table having won both team golds – the women’s team silver went to Egypt and bronze to Belarus, while Russia took home the men’s team silver and Egypt the bronze.
More than 250 athletes aged 21 and under took part in the final global competition before the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Gold medallist Berazavik (BLR) said: “We succeeded in everything. We did it very well. We fenced incredibly well. We were a little unlucky with the horse, but we did our favourite discipline - Laser Run - at the highest level. It is the most important.”
Team-mate Etsina (BLR) said: “From the very beginning everything went well, since fencing is the most difficult thing for us. Since it succeeded, everything else went like clockwork.”
Silver medallist Pydyszewska (POL) said: “We are so happy we don’t know what to say. It’s amazing. In the Laser Run I shot really well and made a good position for my team-mate, and he did what was needed to give us a silver medal. It’s perfect.
“We will watch the Olympics in Tokyo now and keep our fingers crossed for our team.”
Team-mate Klimek (POL) added: “Today is an amazing day. A silver medal – we didn’t dream about it. Our best discipline was Riding because then we moved up to 2nd position.”
Bronze medallist Fernandez (GUA) said: “It was a good day. It’s our first international medal and it’s the World Championships. We have the best team ever.”
Czech Republic (Veronika Novotna & Jakub Malecek) set the standard in the pool with an electric time of 1min 54.01sec, with Egypt (Mariam Amer & Muhammed Husam) not far behind (1:54.35).
With a commanding performance, Belarus (Etsina/Berazavik) stormed to the top of the overall leaderboard thanks to a score of 31V/9D. Equally, Russia (Yana Soloveva & Egor Gromadskii) had a big advantage over another Egypt duo (Salma Abdelmaksoud & Mohanad Shaban).
The only maximum score of the day was delivered by Germany (Julie Walser & Christoph Lemken), but Poland (Pydyszewska/Klimek) moved up to 2nd place overall with a score of 298 and Hungary (Rita Erdos & Csaba Bohm) moved into contention with 297.
Starting with a big lead over 2nd-placed Poland (Pydyszewska/Klimek) and 3rd-placed Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Shaban), Belarus (Etsina/Berazavik) controlled their nerves and gave no sign of hope to their rivals.
By the second visit to the range, individual bronze medallist Elzbieta Adomaityte of Lithuania had moved into the bronze-medal position but her team-mate Puronas (LTU) was overtaken by Bohm (HUN) after the handover.
At the final shoot, there was a major surprise as Bohm (HUN) lost his place to both Klimek (POL) and Fernandez (GUA), who engaged in a private duel for silver. Finally it was Klimek (POL) who crossed the line 5sec ahead of Fernandez (GUA), who in turn had a 6sec cushion over Bohm (HUN).
The best Laser Run time was set by individual world champion Rebecca Castaudi and Mathis Rochat of France (11:46.09), who were not in contention for medals after failing to take part in Riding.
Janusz Peciak OLY, UIPM Executive Board Member for Sport and 1976 Olympic champion, said: “Every day of the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon Junior World Championships was interesting and exciting. Of course today Belarus won with a big gap, but I’m very happy for the Polish team who finally won a medal and also Guatemala, because it’s better for the future of the sport to have more countries winning medals.
“I saw many great athletes here at this World Championships – some of them will even compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo but I’m sure many of them will participate in the Olympic Games in Paris where we will of course have a new format.
“I’m very happy, especially because during the pandemic we didn’t have much competition for juniors and youths. We know how hard it was for the athletes not to participate for one and a half years and it’s good to see them back.”
Local organisers’ reaction
Sharif Elerian, President of the Egypt Modern Pentathlon Federation (EMPF) who formed the local organising committee, said: “It was a wonderful competition, I think everything went exceptionally well. All the nations were very happy and they expressed their happiness and gratitude yesterday in the closing ceremony.
“I personally am happy with everybody in the organising committee, whether from UIPM or our federation or from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology – it was a great event and there were no problems at all.
“Many nations were on the podium and I’m happy for them all, and happy too for the performance of our Egyptian team – we had a gold and a bronze yesterday in the Men’s Final and a silver in the Women’s Final.
“We are waiting for everyone in September for the UIPM Youth World Championships for U19 and U17 athletes and I think it will be an even better competition.”
Watch and follow
The UIPM 2021 Pentathlon Junior World Championships in Alexandria (EGY) has now concluded but many of the world’s best young pentathletes will return to the city in two months’ time for the UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19/U17), taking place from September 13-19.
SOPHIA VALENCIA FRANCO Paula
OLIVER Catherine Mayran
LI VOLSI JACOPO Maria
POLAT Yaren Nur