UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships: Whitaker and Brown (GBR) race to Mixed Relay gold
- British duo end week on a high with brilliant display
- Erdos & Viczian team up to win silver for Hungary
- Battling bronze for Lithuania (Adomaityte & Puronas)
Emma Whitaker and Charles Brown delivered a highly consistent Mixed Relay performance to seal a worthy gold medal for Great Britain on the final day of the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships.
Rita Erdos and Bence Viczian held off a host of challengers to claim silver for Hungary, who performed strongly all week. In a ferocious fight for the final spot on the podium it was Lithuania duo Elzbieta Adomaityte and Titas Puronas who came out on top, giving Adomaityte (LTU) her second medal in two days after she had claimed individual bronze on Super Saturday.
Egypt’s talented tandem of Amira Kandil and Youssef Alyan were 4th with Brazilian duo Mercela Mello and Matheus Nobre close behind in 5th and home favourite Ewa Pydyszewskaand Maciej Klimek finishing 6th for host nation Poland.
Third in Fencing, a perfect score in Riding, second-fastest in Swimming, Great Britain (Whitaker/Brown) put the seal on a terrific team effort with a hard-running display in the Laser Run. It was Great Britain’s first medal of the week and ensured that gold would be shared among five nations across a memorable week.
In total, 23 nations took part in the annual Under 22 showpiece competition with all six Modern Pentathlon Confederations (Africa, Asia, Europe, NORCECA, Oceania and South America) represented.
Egypt’s relay prowess has been a hallmark of competitions at all levels in recent years and Kandil (EGY) and Alyan (EGY) wasted little time in racing to the front of the talented field. They combined for 22 victories in the Fencing Ranking Round with Lithuania (Adomaityte/Puronas) closely behind alongside Great Britain (Whitaker/Brown) on 21 victories.
While Lithuania (Adomaityte/Puronas) were among four nations to add four points in the Fencing Bonus Round it was the Czech Republic who dominated with Lucie Hlavackova and Matej Lukes adding eight points to their tally.
There was plenty of drama as action moved to the Riding discipline. At the top of the leaderboard there were very valuable perfect scores for three contenders with Guatemala (Isabela Pondaven/Jairo Ramos), Great Britain (Whitaker/Brown) and Germany (Cicelle Leh/Christoph Lemken) all achieving the maximum. Two teams - Ireland (Isobel Radford Dodd & Ben Makin)and Estonia (Johanna Maria Jogisu & Carl Robert Kallaste) suffered elimination.
One of those eliminated teams quickly shook off their disappointment as Ireland (Radford Dodd/Makin) combined for the only sub-2min time as they swam a 1:58.90.
Behind them, Great Britain (Whitaker / Brown) took a major stride towards the podium with a time of 2:00.02. Brazil’s duo of Mello and Nobre were third-fastest with Germany (Leh/Lemken) and Hungary (Erdos/Viczian) keeping the overall leaders within their sights.
While Whitaker and Brown (GBR) enjoyed a healthy 23sec lead over their closest rivals, only 5sec separated the nations ranked 2nd to 5th, ensuring the Laser Run would be a must-watch culmination of what has been a brilliant championships.
Whitaker (GBR) set off at a great pace but a 31sec shoot opened the door slightly to her rivals. Erdos (HUN) was in sharp-shooting form and shaved almost 15sec off the lead.
Whitaker’s hard running kept the field at a bay and a much improved second shoot ensured Brown (GBR) retained a healthy lead at the handover. Behind her, Pydyszewska (POL) put in a tremendous performance to lift the host nation into medal contention at the changeover.
As the men reached the range for the final time, Brown (GBR) held his nerve while Puronas (LTU) helped put pressure on Viczian with Alyan (EGY) striving to bring Egypt back into contention.
Brown (GBR) never looked back as he kicked for home and was met by teammate Whitaker as he crossed the line for gold. Viczian (HUN) held firm for silver while Puronas (LTU) held on for bronze.
Gold medalist Whitaker (GBR) said: “Personally, my first shoot was a little bit sketchy. I just ran hard and gave the handover to Charlie with a little bit of a lead. He went into it with a good pace and he nailed it. So I was quietly confident.
“It’s nice to end on a high. We both had a good individual performance which we were pleased with, but no medals, so it was nice to take a medal home.”
Brown (GBR) added: “Because of our strong ride, it gave us a big advantage which was quite comfortable to have but the standard of Laser Run here is insane, so you don’t know what could happen if you have a bad shoot or a bad run, but it just went to plan.”
UIPM President’s reaction
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Today we had a Mixed Relay with 17 teams, which is an excellent field after a testing Junior World Championships here in Zielona Gora. We saw athletes enjoying competing together in such a great spirit and sharing the podium.
“I have to say a big thank you to the athletes, who have given a great account of themselves not just in this superb Mixed Relay Final but all week. It is a great sign for the future of our sport and spreading this spirit to more nations and more athletes. My thanks again to the organisers and the supporters here in Poland.
“We have many regional competitions still to come including qualifiers for the Pan American Games, but I look forward to seeing all athletes returning in 2023. First we need to have more discussions about the future of our sport but I think we all know that with the energy and support of all of the nations supporting us, we will find a great future for all of the generations to come.”
Watch and follow
The UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships has now concluded. Visit the UIPM website or download “UIPM Central” from your app store to view reports and results.