- Former youth champion adds world junior title to European crown
- Prolific 20-year-old takes competition tally to three golds in Drzonkow (POL)
- Bryson (GBR) collects second silver as Barta (HUN) snatches individual bronze
Adelina Ibatullina of Russia has formed a winning habit and she continued her remarkable run of success to become Women’s Individual gold medallist at the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon Junior World Championships.
In 2017, Ibatullina (RUS) became youth world champion at U19 level, and today’s success confirmed her calibre as one of the most promising pentathletes in the world. Only last month she won European junior gold at the same venue.
Besides her individual haul, the 20-year-old took her tally for this competition to three golds, as she added the team and individual titles to the Women’s Relay gold she won alongside Kseniia Fraltsova on Tuesday. Alena Avdeeva (RUS) joined her team-mates on top of the podium after finishing 15th, with Fraltsova (RUS) crossing the line 9th.
With the Russians in imperious form, Great Britain spent another day in close pursuit as they collected team bronze on the back of a strong individual silver for Kerenza Bryson. She was joined on the podium by Olivia Green (GBR, 11th) and Georgia Hamman (GBR, 24th), who won Women’s Relay silver alongside Bryson (GBR) two days ago.
Individual bronze went to Luca Barta of Hungary, who finished 10sec ahead of 4th-placed Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games champion Salma Abdelmaksoud of Egypt, whose consolation prize was a team silver medal to celebrate with Amira Kandil (EGY, 8th) and Noureen Elgamal (EGY, 12th).
Blanka Guzi (HUN) finished 5th after an exceptional Laser Run, with Alice Rinaudo of Italy completing the top six.
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Ibatullina (RUS) said: “It was very interesting and very long – three days of competition. I’m very happy about my result and the result of my team.
“Fencing was so hard for me, three or four hours, and Swimming was hard too because one week ago I was ill. At first I didn’t know if I would come to the Junior World Championships. I’m very happy.”
Bryson (GBR) said: “I had a good fence, but didn’t finish so great but then when I reflected and realised it was actually pretty good, I was happy. Then I carried that through to the Bonus Round, where I didn’t get any points.
“I was quite pleased with my Swimming, pretty close to my PB [personal best] which is what I was hoping for – and then the ride was good, I was really happy with my horse.
“In the Laser Run I set off in 6th, 13sec behind Ibatullina. She’s a great athlete and it would have been incredible if I had caught her, but I just went in with an open mind and didn’t picture any medals. I just concentrated on my process and then when I crossed the line I realised I had won a silver medal. I just kept my head and kept calm, didn’t look behind me.”
Barta (HUN) added: “I wanted to do my best and enjoy the competition, and after the Swimming I was really positive and happy.
“The Riding went really well and I wasn’t so nervous. In the Laser Run I knew I had to run really fast and shoot my best, and I did everything I could.
“I really like to compete in Drzonkow – I like the atmosphere and everything that comes with it. I really enjoyed it.
“I will work hard – harder than ever – and I still have one year in juniors. In the future my goal is to compete at the Paris Olympics in 2024.”
Ibatullina (RUS) put herself quickly into contention as she registered the third-fastest time of the day with 2:16.39. The top performer was Beatrice Mercuri (ITA) with a time of 2:14.83, with Michelle Gulyas (HUN) slotting in behind her on 2:15.31.
An excellent performance by Kandil (EGY) enabled her to top the Fencing leaderboard in the Ranking Round with 26V/9D, two victories ahead of Bryson (GBR) and Elzbieta Adomaityte of Lithuania.
Ibatullina (RUS), Rinaudo (ITA) and Park Naeun of Korea took care to stay in contention with scores of 22V/13D.
The stars of the Bonus Round were Rebecca Langrehr of Germany, who scored six victories, and Ibatullina (RUS), who added four points to her score to be the last woman standing.
The strength of the Russian challenge was rammed home in the Riding arena, where Avdeeva (RUS) and Ibatullina (RUS) collected maximum scores of 300 with the only two clean rounds of the day.
The standard was high across the board, however, with a remarkable 12 athletes scoring 293 with only one transgression. Bryson (GBR), Barta (HUN) and Abdelaksoud (EGY) were all in this group, ensuring they would go into the Laser Run with a real shot at the podium.
Starting with only a slender lead over Bryson (GBR) and Kandil (EGY), pressure seemed to be a foreign concept to Ibatullina (RUS) as she delivered her shots with supreme accuracy while controlling her running pace well.
Abdelmaksoud (EGY) moved past her compatriot Kandil (EGY) into the bronze medal position at the second shoot, but all the time Barta (HUN) was gaining on her.
The top two maintained their composure right to the end, with Ibatullina (RUS) maintaining her 13sec lead over Bryson (GBR), who in turn crossed the line 18sec ahead of the bronze medallist.
Barta (HUN) and Abdelmaksoud (EGY) actually left the range together after the final shoot, but the Youth Olympics champion had less in reserve than her rival and Barta (HUN) finally finished with a 10sec advantage.
In the final analysis, Barta (HUN) had the third-best Laser Run time of 12:43.94 but this was overshadowed by the superb 12:15.18 achieved by her team-mate Guzi (HUN). Fraltsova (RUS) also excelled with a time of 12:26.54.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “It was an exciting moment to see this young generation, some of them still Under 19, showing what the future looks like for our movement. For our Union it is fantastic to see how many nations are competing here at the Junior World Championship in Drzonkow, where there is a fantastic training centre and great horses.
“Also the friendship between the athletes is something I have observed. After the competition was over they gave each other a big hug and that kind of atmosphere is something that we like to see. This is an opportunity to integrate and create friendships for life.
“We saw a Hungarian athlete coming from 20th place to finish 5th, and this underlines how Laser Run has given a new dimension to our sport. You cannot really calculate what is going to happen, and we saw this in the recent UIPM Pentathlon World Cup Final where the Olympic champion Alexander Lesun was so far ahead but was caught by a group of athletes.
“We never know really who will win, except of course when there is a situation like we saw today with the Russian lady who made sure every shot was accurate – not a single miss.
The British girl was also excellent in this regard, and we are looking forward to another wonderful presentation tomorrow with the Men’s Individual Final.”
WATCH AND FOLLOW
The UIPM 2019 Pentathlon Junior World Championships in Drzonkow (POL) runs from July 7-14 and continues on Friday, July 12 with the Men’s Individual Final. The competition concludes on Saturday, July 13 with the Mixed Relay.
Visit the UIPM website or download “UIPM Central” from your app store to keep track of live results throughout the championships.
UIPM (the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne) has governed the core Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon since its formation in 1948. Today it oversees a range of multi-discipline sports (Tetrathlon, Laser-Run, Biathle/Triathle and World Schools Biathlon) which form a development pyramid with Modern Pentathlon at the top.
About Modern Pentathlon
Created especially for the Modern Olympic Games by its founder, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the sport was introduced in Stockholm in 1912 and has been the climax of the Games ever since. The format has been adapted to suit the 21st century and the Modern Pentathlon now consists of Fencing, Swimming, Horse Riding and Laser-Run (running/shooting).
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