Aleksander LESUN (Russia) confirmed his status as the world's leading male pentathlete by winning Gold today in the Men's Individual event at the Warsaw 2014 Modern Pentathlon World Championships.
Already ranked No.1 in the New Balance World Rankings, 26-year-old Lesun extended his lead as he completed a magical year in the perfect fashion in the Polish capital. The Belarus-born Russian had already won gold at the 2014 World Cup Finals and 2014 European Championships.
In fact, Lesun now has three World Championship titles to his name, having won the Men's Individual event in Rome in 2012 and gold in the Team event a year earlier, in Moscow. After the disappointment of the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he finished fourth, he has responded like a true champion this year to achieve total domination.
After receiving his Gold medal, Lesun (Rus) admitted that his next major goal was to win the Olympic Modern Pentathlon title, currently held by David Svoboda of Czech Republic, in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
He said: "I am knocking on the door of David Svoboda. I'm looking at Rio 2016. That's my plan."
Lesun (Rus) had to pass a major examination of his fitness, concentration and composure to pull off this victory, with Amro El Geziry (Egypt) keeping him under very close observation all day.
El Geziry won Silver and the Bronze went to Jan Kuf (Czech Republic), a result that rewarded two athletes who had been ranked outside the top 10 before coming to Poland.
El Geziry was especially pleased with his result, an outcome that made him reflect on how far he has come in nearly a decade as a senior pentathlete.
El Geziry (Egy) said: "I would like to thank everyone who worked on creating this great competition. I came here nine years ago for my first Senior World Championship and here I am, nine years later, with a silver medal.
"I am so happy. It was one of the best days of my life. I would like to thank UIPM for all of their organisational work, and all the other athletes."
Interestingly, none of the three Individual medallists was able to double up by winning a Team medal. The Gold went to Adam Marosi, Robert Kasza & Bence Demeter (Hungary), the same trio who won the Men's Relay title in 2013 in Chinese Taipei.
Silver went to France (Christopher Patte, Valentin Belaud & Valentin Prades) and Bronze to China (Jianli Guo, Jiahao Han & Haihang Su).
Lesun laid a strong platform for his champion performance by performing brilliantly in the Fencing competition, where he claimed first position ahead of El Geziry (Egy) with 27 wins. But he would not have things his own way throughout the day.
It was El Geziry (Egy), in fact, who took top spot away from his Russian rival during the Swimming and then retained the initiative throughout the Riding element.
In the pool, 27-year-old El Geziry was the standout performer with a time of 1min 52.31sec. Jamie Cooke (Great Britain) was just 0.64sec behind.
On horseback, the two main Gold medal contenders distinguished themselves once more, both claiming the maximum 300 points on offer. Kuf (Cze) was only one second outside the time limit for his round and this performance allowed him to rise to third in the overall standings.
In the Combined Event, with Lesun (Rus) starting 15 seconds behind overall leader El Geziry (Egy), there was little doubt that it would be a two-horse race. And so it proved, but there was a twist in the tale. With great conviction, Lesun overtook his rival on the second lap to turn Silver into Gold.
Kuf showed great determination to recover his starting position of 3rd - which he had lost at the first Shooting stage - to claim Bronze ahead of Kasza (Hun) in 4th and Valentin (Fra) in 5th.
Dr Klaus Schormann, President of the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne, said at the Press Conference: "Again I would like to thank the organising committee, who have been excellent hosts. The crowd has also been great and all of the athletes today did their very best. I am looking forward to seeing many of them again at the Champions of Champions in Doha later this year."
Also today, Alain Lunzenfichter received the UIPM Medal of Honorfor all the support and help that he has given to Modern Pentathlon over the years.
Mr Lunzenfichter, from France, is one of the most experienced and noted sports journalists in the world and has served as President of the Olympic Journalists Association.