UIPM 2024 Pentathlon Challenger Egypt: Ozyuksel (TUR) and Elgendy (EGY) kick off season in style
The UIPM Pentathlon Challenger series was introduced to add relevance and excitement to the process of Olympic qualification - and it delivered in style with a thrilling start to the 2024 season.
The Olympic year began in earnest in Cairo (EGY) and it was especially sweet for Ilke Ozyuksel of Türkiye and the home-town hero, Mohamed Elgendy of Egypt, who won the gold medals with performances of stunningly high quality.
In fact, the winning scores of Ozyuksel (TUR) and Elgendy (EGY) almost forced an adjustment to the Modern Pentathlon world records, as they came within two points and five points respectively of the sport’s historic apex.
For Ozyuksel (TUR), now a perennial top-10 athlete aiming to improve on her 5th place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it was a second consecutive victory after her success last October in UIPM 2023 Pentathlon Challenger Kyrgyzstan.
She moved into 3rd position in the UIPM Olympic Pentathlon World Ranking list with a sublime performance, starting with 20 victories from her 35 bouts in Fencing – bettered only by Amira Kandil (EGY, 24V/11D) and Veronika Novotna of Czech Republic (21V/14D).
Ozyuksel (TUR) charged into the lead with a maximum score of 300 in Fencing, followed by a 5th-ranked swim of 2min 20.81sec. Rather than taking it easy in Laser Run she blitzed the course with the 2nd-best time of the day, 11:10.70, to clinch gold by an astonishing 19sec.
The only athlete quicker around the course was, in fact, silver medallist Rita Erdos of Hungary, who in turn left her rivals without a chance. To the delight of local spectators, 18-year-old African champion Malik Ismail (EGY) came home strongly to win bronze with a 10sec cushion over Mariana Arceo of Mexico, who now tops the Olympic Ranking List.
Janine Kohlmann of Germany and Rebecca Castaudi of France completed the top six.
The Men’s Final, held on the same day, was somewhat tighter as Mohamed Elgendy (EGY), younger brother of Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallist Ahmed, battled to victory by 7sec from Matej Lukes (CZE), who protected silver from Fabian Liebig (GER) by the narrowest of margins.
Elgendy (EGY) scored 25V/10D in Fencing, only inferior to Jozsef Tamas (HUN) who managed an eye-catching 27 victories. He held his nerve with 292 in Riding and despite dropping points in Swimming, produced the 3rd-fastest Laser Run to secure gold.
Moutaz Mohamed (EGY) finished the day very strongly with the fastest Swimming time of 2:03.23 followed by the quickest Laser Run of 9:52.27. Tamas (HUN) and another local athlete, Omar Wael (EGY), rounded out the top six.
Form guides taken from the international season-opener are often highly accurate and many of the leading lights in this Pentathlon Challenger will be back in Cairo (EGY) for UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Cup Cairo in March, where more Olympic ranking points will be on offer alongside the coveted medals.
Click here for all results from UIPM 2024 Pentathlon Challenger Egypt.