UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships: Korea start medal plunder with Men’s Relay gold
- Jun & Jung dominate on day one in Alexandria (EGY)
- Hamad & Hamed earn silver for host nation Egypt
- Czech Republic win bronze thanks to Tuma & Houska
Illustrious team-mates Woongtae Jun and Jinhwa Jung drew first blood for Korea on the opening day of the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships.
The world-leading duo, who finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, dominated the Men’s Relay to win comfortably from silver medallists Egypt (Eslam Hamad & Ahmed Hamed).
The host nation, in turn, enjoyed a solid margin of success over Matous Tuma and Filip Houska of Czech Republic, who picked up bronze.
Few nerves were evident on horseback, with seven of the 13 competing teams enjoying a perfect score of 300 and Egypt (Hamad/Hamed) propping up the scores with a perfectly respectable 290.
A clear advantage from the Fencing Ranking Round enabled Korea (Jun/Jung) to claim the overall lead after a Bonus Round dominated almost entirely by two teams.
After three victories for Pierre Dejardin and Jean-Baptiste Mourcia of France, the Bonus Round was owned by Martin Gajardo and Esteban Bustos of Chile as they marched up the entire ladder winning the last eight bouts.
A Ranking Round score of 37V/11D put Korea (Jun/Jung) in the vanguard position, followed by Dmytro Baliuk and Kyrym Shekhmametyev of Ukraine and Egypt (Hamad/Hamed) who scored 34V/14D and 33V/15D respectively.
The professionalism of Korea (Jun/Jung) was evident as they extended their overall lead in the Swimming pool with the fastest time of 1.51min 37sec.
Marc Spletzer and Moriz Klinkert of Germany were the next quickest (1:52.46) ahead of the 1:53.20 recorded by Yu Zhang and Shuai Luo of China.
Korea (Jun/Jung) started with a 21sec cushion over Ukraine (Baliuk/Shekmametyev) and 29sec clear of Egypt (Hamad/Hamed), with Germany (Spletzer/Klinkert) and Czech Republic (Tuma/Houska) a further 12sec adrift and with work to do.
Indeed, it was Czech Republic (Tuma/Houska) who had to work hardest for their medal, leaving Germany (Spletzer/Klinkert) in their exhaust fumes and passing Ukraine (Baliuk/Shekmametyev) to keep pressure on the top two.
Not that the would-be gold and silver medallists seemed to notice. Korea (Jun/Jung) used all their experience to calmly progress through the circuits and sensibly keep some stamina back for the individual tests to come. Egypt (Hamad/Hamed) did their best to threaten an upset and finished within 8sec of the winners.
In the end, Czech Republic (Tuma/Houska) had to fight off a bold challenge from France (Dejardin/Mourcia), whose exceptional Laser Run of 11:46.20 set the tone for what promises to be a captivating week.
Fifth place went to Manuel Padilla and Duilio Carrillo of Mexico, one place ahead of China (Yu/Shuo).
Gold medallist Jun (KOR) said: “This year the 2022 season is going very well for the Korea team. It’s very important that we work as a team. We were 1st today and the women will try to do the same tomorrow.”
Team-mate Jung (KOR) added: “Egypt is a special country for me after I was individual world champion in 2017, and I was very happy to have another nice victory with my team-mate Jun today.”
Silver medallist Hamad (EGY) said: “It started very well with the Fencing with a top-three position that was very good for us.
“Riding was very smooth, we had a clear round, Swimming was normal and Laser Run was a little bit challenging because we had very competitive runners behind and in front of us, and we managed to keep everything together to get the silver medal.
“It feels very good to be here with everyone supporting and watching us, and it feels very special to have a medal in front of our home crowd.”
Bronze medallist Tuma (CZE) said: “The day started with good Fencing from my team-mate Filip Houska, and then the Riding was clear but it was clear from many teams so there was no difference, and then in the Laser Run we had the best shooting of our lives so far, and that was the key.
Houska (CZE) said: “Matous was maybe the fastest runner here, and he made such huge progress. We are training with Martin Vlach and working on our Laser Run all the time.”
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “On the first day of the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships here in Alexandria we have already witnessed a truly global contest for medals and podium places with very high-quality performances.
“I congratulate the Men’s Relay team from Korea on their gold medal – they are undoubtedly a dominant force in Modern Pentathlon at this time – and we are always happy to see three continents on the podium as we did thanks to super performances from Egypt and Czech Republic.
“The first day of this year’s flagship Modern Pentathlon competition has been an outstanding success and I am grateful to the Egyptian Modern Pentathlon Federation and all partners involved in the organisation of this competition. We look forward to the Women’s Relay tomorrow and then we have five days of exciting individual competition with elimination at every stage.”
Watch and follow
The UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships are the first to feature Riding in the individual Semi-finals as well as the Final, testing the format that will be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Live coverage of the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Final is available to UIPMTV subscribers with annual packages costing €14.99.
Follow World Pentathlon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the Pentathlon World Championships for additional content, and visit the UIPM website or download the ‘UIPM Central’ app to keep track of results.
UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships
Times denote start of UIPM.TV live coverage (CEST)
July 25: Women’s Relay
July 26: Men’s Qualification
July 27: Women’s Qualification | Men’s Fencing Ranking Round
July 28: Men’s Semi-final A (5pm) | Men’s Semi-final B (7.30pm) | Women’s Fencing Ranking Round
July 29: Women’s Semi-final A (5pm) | Women’s Semi-final B (7.30pm)
July 30: Men’s Final (4.30pm) | Women’s Final (8pm)
July 31: Mixed Relay (4pm)
GYURKA Mark Mano