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UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Cup Sofia: Egypt clinch Mixed Relay gold in stunning Laser Run finish

Modern Pentathlon
  • Morsy and Shaban (EGY) hold on for glory in a truly dramatic finish 
  • Less than a second separates top three with China (Gu/Chen) winning silver
  • Mexico (Oliver/Carillo) add third medal of World Cup season with bronze

An exhilarating week of action at UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Cup Sofia finished on the most fitting note possible as Haydy Morsy and Mohanad Shaban clinched Mixed Relay gold for Egypt in one of the most dramatic Laser Run finishes in recent memory. 

Remarkably, less than a second separated the winners and the other two medalists as a photo finish was required to eventually decide that Yewen Gu and Bailiang Chen of China had pipped Catherine Mayran Oliver and Duilio Carrillo of Mexico to silver by the tightest possible margin, the teams having crossed the line at the exact same time. 

Pentathlon’s truly global appeal was on show as four separate nations from four different continents had held the lead during the captivating Laser Run. But it was Shaban (EGY) who dug deep in the closing stages to claw back Chen (CHN) and claim team gold to go with his individual silver from Super Sunday, the World No.2 competing for a fifth-straight day. Egypt rounded off the week with a gold, silver and two bronze medals in all. 

Silver was a fitting reward for China (Gu/Chen) who showed superb consistency throughout Monday’s competition to claim the country’s first medal of the World Cup season while Mexico (Carillo/Oliver) added another podium finish to go with Relay golds already claimed in Cairo and Budapest.


Medallists’ Reaction

Gold medallist Morsy (EGY) said: “I am so happy with this gold medal today. To be going home finally after a long time with no podium, thanks to Shaban for the great finish. But I’m very, very happy for this medal especially after a tough time with the individual competition. Team Egypt again on the podium — another one!”

Her teammate Shaban (EGY) added: “It’s not easy! Now it’s been five days [in a row], more and more, it’s tough. Today was the last day and now it’s rest, see you in China after one month of recovery. That’s enough! We had a great finish with China. I was looking for him, like ‘can I catch him or no? I can. I can’ So I had a great finish, just ahead of them, just one second. A great finish like yesterday. I am so happy.”

Silver medallist Gu (CHN) said: “We had felt so nervous but he [Chen] is a really good runner. I’m bad at shooting so congratulations to Chen! It’s the first time we have got a silver medal in all of the World Cups so it’s really exciting to get it.”

Bronze medallist Carillo (MEX) said: “Yes, it was a very hard run. I think it’s maybe not my best discipline but I improved a lot. I have time for the Olympics. But it was an amazing race today. I hoped that I had taken silver but I didn’t have a lot of time to get it but it was a good competition.”


Super Sunday in the Bulgarian capital had witnessed a very high standard of skill on horseback and Monday afternoon saw plenty of the same as the Riding round began with three-straight perfect scores from Italy (Alice Rinaudo & Matteo Bovenzi), Kazakhstan (Elena Potapenko & Giorgiy Boroda-Dudochkin) and France (Louison Cazaly & Leo Bories).

That run was broken when the Sweden duo of Marlena Jawaid and Daniel Steinbock were eliminated for an infringement in the transition area. However the leaders largely kept their nerves as China (Gu/Chen) put up another perfect score and primary contenders Egypt (Morsy/Shaban) and Mexico (Carillo/Oliver) both matched each other step for step with just a single obstacle penalty. It left the top of the leaderboard looking particularly tight, one point the difference between the first four. 


In keeping with a season of relentlessly impressive performances, Egypt (Morsy/Shaban) jumped out to an ominous early lead, picking up 26 victories in the Fencing Ranking Round. 

However Mexico (Carillo/Oliver) were toe to toe with the Africans with 26 victories of their own, two more than the rest of the field with Hungary (Kamilla Reti & Gergely Regos) and China (Gu/Chen) racking up with 24. 

With just a solitary point separating the top quartet of teams, the Bonus Round took on even greater importance. However it was Italy (Rinaudo/Bovenzi) who made the most of the opportunity, almost running the table by reeling off five victories to bring themselves back into medal contention. At the head of proceedings, Mexico (Carillo/Oliver) grabbed the all-important final win over Egypt (Morsy/Shaban) to edge just ahead of the rest. 


Feeding off their momentum from the Bonus Round, Italy (Rinaudo/Bovenzi) put in a blistering performance in the pool, fastest of all in 1:55.12 with France (Cazaly/Bories) the only other team to go under the 2-minute mark, tightening up the leaderboard even more. 

China (Gu/Chen) were third-fastest in 2:00.77 to jump to the front and give themselves an 8-second cushion on the field ahead of the Laser Run but, much like we had seen during the pulsating individual Finals the previous day, the destination of the medals was far clear in a high-quality contest

Laser Run

While Gu (CHN) set off in front with the hard-earned 8-second cushion, just 20 seconds separated the leaders and Kazakhstan (Potapenko/Boroda-Dudochkin) in seventh place with so many prolific Relay performers among the contending pack. 

The tension was palpable and nerves clearly evident on the first visit to the shooting range as rivals at the front of the race took time to find rhythm. It was a stunning 8-second shoot from Potapenko (KAZ) that stood out but Cazaly (FRA) would go even lower, reeling off five green lights in her second visit to the range to put the French in contention for a second gold of the week after Pierre Dejardin (FRA) had triumphed in the Men’s Final 24 hours earlier. 

The lead transitioned between China (Gu/Chen), Egypt (Morsy/Shaban) and Mexico (Carillo/Oliver) and at the changeover Shaban (EGY) set out in front but there was precious little to separate them all. Carillo (MEX) was quickest to lock in at the range and wrestled the lead after the first shoot only for the running of Shaban (EGY) to bring the African powerhouse back in front. The front three arrived at the range for the final shoot in unison with Regos (HUN) having edged closer too.

It was Chen (CHN) who reeled off a 10-second shoot to set off in front with Carillo (MEX) behind and Shaban (EGY) with a lot of work to do. However last year’s World Cup Final individual gold medalist is also the reigning UIPM World Champion in Mixed Relay and found the last of reserves to sprint to the front inside the last 100 metres. 

Even then there was still time for more drama as Chen (CHN) and the hard-charging Carillo (MEX) almost caught Shaban (EGY), giving us a truly memorable finish line photograph of the trio neck and neck to the last. Behind them France (Cazaly/Bories) claimed fourth with Hungary (Reti/Regos) fifth and Italy sixth (Rinaudo/Bovenzi).


President’s Reaction

UIPM President Dr. Klaus Schormann said: “We have finished a great competition today with a really wonderful race which showed the very best of our sport. To see three teams from three continents giving it everything to the very last step was an amazing spectacle — and a truly global one. I congratulate all of the athletes for such effort and determination. 

“My thanks to the organising committee, under the leadership of Andrey Kuzmanov, who have shown again that they are a fantastic organiser with excellent volunteers.

“Thanks to the Minister for Sport who visited the competition, and to representatives from the National Olympic Committee who were joined by former pentathletes from various countries in attending the 70th anniversary celebrations for the Bulgaria Modern Pentathlon Federation. I also thank all the sponsors and suppliers and media who support this competition.”


Watch and follow

UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Cup Budapest has now concluded. The next competition on the calendar is UIPM 2024 World Cup Final in Ankara (TUR) from May 22-26.

Live stream of the Semi-finals and Finals will be available on UIPM TV, and all competition results are available at the UIPM website and via the UIPM Central app.

Follow World Pentathlon on FacebookInstagramTikTokX or YouTube throughout the season for additional content.

Rank Team Nation Points
1 MORSY Haydy

SHABAN Mohanad
EGY 1352
2 GU Yewen

CHEN Bailiang
CHN 1351
3 OLIVER Catherine Mayran

MEX 1350
4 CAZALY Louison

FRA 1335
5 RETI Kamilla

REGOS Gergely
HUN 1333

ITA 1332

KAZ 1310
8 CHYZHOVA Anastasiia

UKR 1274
9 NIKA Pinelopi


11 JAWAID Marlena


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