UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Ankara: Korea seal Mixed Relay thriller
- Seong & Lee hold on to hard-earned lead to win gold medal
- Germany (Kohlmann & Dogue) celebrate solid silver on dramatic final day
- Egypt (Kandil & Shaban) medal again after beating Great Britain in sprint finish
Korea finished UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Ankara on a high as Seungmin Seong and Jihun Lee won a thrilling Mixed Relay.
Lee, the reigning Asian champion, and 20-year-old partner Seong briefly lost the lead they had held all day after a brilliant Laser Run split by individual champion Jessica Varley of Great Britain, but in the end Lee (KOR) reclaimed the top spot to finish in style.
Janine Kohlmann and Marvin Dogue of Germany bounced back well to claim silver, while Amira Kandil and Mohanad Shaban of Egypt dramatically denied Great Britain a medal in a sprint finish to claim their third Mixed Relay medal of the season.
The captivating Mixed Relay was a fitting end to a remarkable week of competition in Ankara (TUR), which will also host the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Final and New 5th Discipline test event in the coming weeks.
Clear rounds and perfect scores of 300 propelled Czech Republic (Novotna/Tuma) and Great Britain (Varley/Choong) into contention. Italy (Frezza/Micheli) also performed well with only one 7pt penalty.
Stormy weather conditions throughout the weekend made it tough going underfoot and several Mixed Relay pairs saw their medal hopes dashed on the course. Even two-time world champion Valentin Belaud of France was unable to persuade his horse to clear the first jump, resulting in his elimination along with partner Elodie Clouvel.
As in Riding, two pairs stood out in Fencing, with Korea (Seong/Lee) and France (Clouvel/Belaud) each managing an impressive 21V/7D, and Korea (Seong/Lee) added the four extra points in the Bonus Round.
Germany (Kohlmann/Dogue) and Egypt (Kandil/Shaban) were next-best on the piste with 18V/10D, while Italy (Frezza/Micheli) starred in the Bonus Round with four victories topping up their overall points score by eight. Sophia Hernandez and Juan Ochoa of Guatemala added six points too.
Great Britain (Varley/Choong) and Egypt (Kandil/Shaban) demonstrated their prowess in the pool with times of 1:58.61 and 1:58.77 respectively. Dara Almeida and Andres Torres of Ecuador and France (Clouvel/Belaud) also dipped under the 2min mark.
She started with a 22sec cushion but Seong (KOR) knew she would have to be at her best to hold off Women’s Final winner Varley (GBR), and she ran well in the first lap but struggled at the first visit to the shooting range.
A 22sec shoot for Seong (KOR) compared to 11sec by Varley (GBR) opened up the race for gold and Varley (GBR) took the lead halfway through the second lap, and handed over to Choong (GBR) with a 9sec advantage.
Lee (KOR) soon made up ground on the leader and by the time they reached the range, the 2019 Asian champion knew his inexperienced rival might be vulnerable. Not only did Choong (GBR) lose the lead during a 32sec shoot but he was also overtaken by Dogue (GER), who had made a huge advance on the first 600m.
That was the way it stayed at the business end, with Lee (KOR) delivering a second 13sec shoot to give Dogue (GER) no hope of topping the podium. Behind the top two, Choong (GBR) got stuck in the range for a second time and Shaban (EGY) narrowly overtook him, and then won a sprint finish between the two for bronze.
Although they couldn’t feature in the medal equation, France (Clouvel/Belaud) underlined their class with the fastest Laser Run of the day (12:47.61), with Germany (Kohlmann/Dogue) timing 12:49.54.
Gold medallist Lee (KOR) said: “Today we performed well in all five disciplines and I’m very happy. My partner is very young and this was her first time competing internationally, which is good experience and we had very good teamwork, so we are so happy.
Seong (KOR) added: “It was my first time at an international competition and in the individual qualification, I was nervous and made many mistakes, but today my partner and I helped each other well – we always have great teamwork in Team Korea.”
Silver medallist Dogue (GER) said: “I’m very happy. I had to work hard for 10th and 11th positions recently, which was quite good, but I just came here to test myself for the World Championships and felt good so I’m very happy.”
Kohlmann (GER) added: “We are very happy, it was fun today. Jessica is amazing in Laser Run and she went so fast, but Marvin did a good job in the background and we saved 2nd place.”
Bronze medallist Kandil (EGY) said: “Before the Laser Run I didn’t think I could get the medal, so I’m so happy and I’m so impressed with Mohanad because it was such a good finish.”
Shaban (EGY) added: “It was a very good finish with Henry Choong and the competition was very hard for us, Riding was not very good. But the Laser Run was a good finish and we are waiting now for the World Cup Final.”
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said:
“Today we finished the regular season of the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup with the Pentathlon World Cup Final still to come.
“The competition was perfectly organised here in Ankara, in a Pentathlon Arena with a temporary pool exactly as planned.
“After the Women’s and Men’s Finals yesterday we saw a very exciting Mixed Relay, and I hope we will see nations continuing to train harder in Riding to be at the level that is absolutely needed in the coming years where we still have Riding at Junior level and also in the Olympic format for Paris 2024.
“I want to praise the organising committee, the media and also the volunteers, without whom there would be no competition.
“At the centre of our sport are the athletes, and they have given their best after a lot of physical stress in these past days. They have to go through qualification, Semi-finals and Finals and that requires a lot of preparation from them with their coaches.
“I have to say thank you to the coaches, to the National Federations who are investing in the athletes, and to the athletes for what they are achieving in every competition to increase their level.
“Congratulations to all who have qualified for the Pentathlon World Cup Final here in Ankara in the coming days, good luck and stay healthy, and I look forward to also seeing the other athletes who will compete at the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships in Alexandria (EGY) in the last week of July.”
Watch and follow
The best 72 athletes in the world will return for the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Final, also taking place in Ankara (TUR) from June 22-26. The line-up will be announced shortly.
DOGUE Marvin Faly
|SALAZAR ALMEIDA Dara Alejandra
|SERRANO Maria Belen