UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships: Castaudi (FRA) and Koleszar (HUN) on top of the world
- Women’s champion Castaudi (FRA) retains title with another cool comeback
- Men’s champion Koleszar (HUN) denies favourite Elgendy (EGY) gold
- Team glory for Hungary (women) and Egypt (men) on Super Saturday
Rebecca Castaudi of France and Mihaly Koleszar of Hungary are the new Under 22 world champions after exceptional performances at the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships.
Castaudi (FRA) retained her crown with another remarkable comeback in Laser Run, overcoming a big deficit exactly as she did when winning her first title aged 20 last year in Alexandria (EGY).
In the end, she enjoyed a 6sec margin of victory over silver medallist Rita Erdos (HUN), with Elzbieta Adomaityte of Lithuania holding on to bronze after an outstanding Fencing performance.
Koleszar (HUN) then capped off the final ‘Super Saturday’ of a compelling Modern Pentathlon season with a brilliant victory over pre-competition favourite Mohamed Elgendy of Egypt, the senior world silver medallist. Bronze medallist Leo Bories (FRA) added another medal for his team
Hungary won team gold in the Women’s Final after silver medallist Erdos (HUN) was backed up by Blanka Bauer (HUN) and Noemi Eszes (HUN).
Egypt dominated the Men’s Final to win gold thanks to Elgendy (EGY), Moutaz Mohamed (EGY) and Omar Mohamed (EGY) all finishing in the top 10.
The 36 athletes involved in today’s Finals became the first juniors to compete across three days (Qualification / Semi-finals / Final) according to the new elimination format designed for the Paris 2024 Olympic cycle. The Mixed Relay concludes the competition tomorrow (October 9).
Adomaityte (LTU) had already left the rest of the field playing catch-up after an excellent 25V/10D in the Fencing Ranking Round, and she added the four available points in the Bonus Round after defeating Martina Armanazqui of Argentina in the final bout.
Armanazqui (ARG) and Anna Waltermann of Germany each scored 21V/14D and added two bonus points, while defending champion Castaudi (FRA) stayed in contention with 19V/16D.
A serene Riding round saw nine athletes achieve a perfect score of 300 and only one of the 18 finalists eliminated. Castaudi (FRA) was one of those to enjoy a clear round, along with Erdos (HUN) and Armanazqui (ARG), while Adomaityte (LTU) and Waltermann (GER) knocked over just one obstacle each to score 293.
Hana Shibata of Japan proved to be in a class of her own in the pool, with an exceptional time of 2min 13.22sec for a haul of 284 points, 10 more than next-fastest Bauer (HUN, 2:18.25).
Armanazqui (ARG) was next in the standings with 2:19.85 and that took her to the top of the leaderboard, two points ahead of Adomaityte (LTU) with Shibata (JPN) in third and Castaudi (FRA) more than half a minute off the lead.
Although faced with a 32sec deficit, Castaudi (FRA) was entitled to feel confident having erased a 49sec handicap to win gold in 2021 (when the running element of Laser Run was 4 x 800m, now 5 x 600m).
As expected, the champion soon advanced on the leaders, along with Erdos (HUN), who finished 4th last year. Armanazqui (ARG) gradually faded and by the halfway point it was only Adomaityte (LTU) who stood between Castaudi (FRA) and another gold. At the third visit to the shooting range, she grasped her chance and sprinted clear.
Behind her, also picking off her rivals one by one, Erdos (HUN) also delivered a powerful Laser Run to finish only 6sec behind Castaudi (FRA), who recorded the day’s best time of 11min 20.19sec.
In the end the gap between silver and bronze was tighter, with Adomaityte (LTU) aiming to go one better than last year and finally crossing 3sec behind Erdos (HUN).
The top six was completed by Lucie Hlavackova of Czech Republic in 4th, Sharon Tal of Israel in 5th and Emma Whitaker of Great Britain in 6th.
Gold medallist Castaudi (FRA) said: “It was all in my head. I trained a lot with my coaches and I’m very happy, it’s thanks to them and the job they did.
“I was really stressed during the qualification, and my Fencing wasn’t great, but overall I’m happy with all of my competition.”
Radoslav Stoychev of Bulgaria starred in the Fencing Ranking Round, scoring 26V/8D, three more victories than the totals achieved by Koleszar (HUN), Elgendy (EGY), Bories (FRA) and Titas Puronas (LTU).
Elgendy (EGY) made the most of his chance in the Bonus Round, winning the last two bouts for four additional points, while team-mates Moutaz and Omar Mohamed (EGY) added six and eight points respectively.
As in the Women’s Final, most of the male athletes’ dreams remained intact in the Riding arena, with the exception of two France team-mates whose medal quest came to an end.
Among the nine athletes who achieved a perfect score of 300 were Puronas (LTU) and Koleszar (HUN), who moved to within six points overall of Stoychev (BUL) as he dropped nine points.
So high was the standard that Elgendy (EGY) also slipped back somewhat with a 288, due mostly to a 10sec penalty for not patting the horse, which would prove crucial in the end, and Bories (FRA) with a 286.
The importance of being able to compete strongly in all five disciplines was underlined by the experience of Stoychev (BUL), who tumbled down the leaderboard with the slowest Swimming performance.
At the other end of the standings, Mathis Rochat (FRA) and Omar Mohamed (EGY) both ducked under 2:01, while a 2:04 for Koleszar (HUN) enabled him to move into the overall lead.
Koleszar (HUN) started with a 7sec lead over Yuriy Kovalchuk of Ukraine but the most important statistic was the 20sec that separated him and Elgendy (EGY), who emulated his Olympic medallist brother Ahmed by winning silver at the top level at the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships in Alexandria (EGY) in July.
While Elgendy (EGY) quickly moved up from 5th to 2nd, the leader seemed unruffled by the threat and continued to shoot with remarkable composure. Every time his rival made up ground in the run, Koleszar (HUN) retained control with a brilliant shoot and his final Laser Run time of 10:28.24 finally proved to be a winning time, despite Elgendy (EGY) timing 10:12.23.
In the final analysis, a needless error in Riding cost Elgendy (EGY) gold, but all the medallists were more than worthy of the podium, and Bories (FRA) was dogged in his pursuit of bronze. Kovalchuk (UKR) and Puronas (LTU) finished 4th and 5th respectively, with Bence Viczian (HUN) completing the top six.
Gold medallist Koleszar (HUN) said: “To be honest, I didn’t expect to win this morning, I just focused on performing in every single part of the competition as good as I could. It happened, and that’s just the end of it.
“I try to shoot well, I can say I’m a pretty good shooter and sometimes it’s like that and sometimes not.
“It’s always amazing to compete with such great athletes from all around the world – I can’t compare it to anything.
“I really love horse riding, and I feel really sorry for the next generation who are going to grow up without horse riding in Pentathlon. It’s not going to be the same and I think all athletes have to try it at least once in their lifetime.”
UIPM President’s reaction
Dr Klaus Schormann, UIPM President, said: “Today we saw two great Finals in excellent conditions and facilities. It was very exciting to follow the Women’s Final and to see how they still had reserves after the Qualification and the Semi-final to perform at a very high level.
“We had the same situation with the Men’s Final with a very exciting finish. The shooting decided the placement in the end and I think everyone who followed these two Finals can say we have great, great junior athletes and a big hope for the future.
“I wish all of them the best, and some of them may be targeting the Olympic Games Paris 2024 but 100% we are focusing on Los Angeles 2028 and wishing that they can still fulfil their dream to have an Olympic sport in the future.
“Here in Drzonkow, in the city of Zielona Gora, we have a traditional centre for Modern Pentathlon since the first Junior World Championships here in 1976. Congratulations to the organisers, under the leadership of Polish Olympic champion Janusz Peciak, our EB member for Sport, and his whole team who have again arranged a wonderful competition. It is a great achievement by the Polish Modern Pentathlon Federation and the National Olympic Committee hosting athletes from around the world.”
Watch and follow
The UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships runs from October 2-9, culminating with the Mixed Relay on Sunday, October 9.
Visit the UIPM website or download “UIPM Central” from your app store to keep track of live results throughout the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships.
UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships
October 2: Women’s Relay
October 3: Men’s Relay
October 4: Women’s Qualification
October 5: Men’s Qualification
October 6: Women’s Semi-finals
October 7: Men’s Semi-finals
October 8: Women’s Final; Men’s Final
October 9: Mixed Relay