An awesome performance of speed and precision in the combined event ensured Italy’s Aurora Tognetti claimed gold at the 2014 Youth ‘A’ World Championships in the Hungarian capital Budapest. Having begun the final discipline from 11th on the starting grid, she was absolutely scintillating in the run/shoot, showing blistering pace to blow the rest of the field away on route to victory.
Tognetti was elated at the finish, declaring, “After winning the Team Relay I was so happy and I never expected to get gold in teh Individual but now that I have it I am overjoyed”. On the prospect of representing her country at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, this summer, she added, “I cannot believe it, I have worked really hard this season, it’s an experience I will owe to my teammates and my coaches, I cannot wait to be there now.”
Her day began with 18 victories and 17 defeats in the fence as she ended the first discipline in 15th overall. A solid 200m freestyle swim, where she placed fifth with a time of 02:14.28, saw her move up to 11th with just the combined to go.
From there she was simply unstoppable, following the second round of shooting, the Italian moved up to second overall before overtaking the leader Anna Zs. Toth of Hungary on the second loop of the 800m course. She followed her 14 seconds clearance of her target on the third round of shooting by getting five green lights in five shots at her ultimate passage before finishing in style to claim the title.
Silver went to Xiuting Zhong after the Chinese, who had begun the combined in fifth, overtook the athletes in front of her in the penultimate loop of the course.
There was a real jostle for bronze with a three-way battle between Zs. Toth, the day’s best fencer Juhye Choi of Korea and Great Britain’s Francesca Summers. It was neck and neck coming out of the fourth and final round at the range and it was the Brit who found the reserves to step on the gas in the early part of the final loop on her way to a well-deserved third place.
Choi had to settle for fourth place with Hungary’s Zs. Toth in fifth. Egypt’s Morsy Haydy came 6th with Belarus’ Iryna Prasiantsova in 7th. Ukraine’s Yana Polishchuk made her way up from 22nd at the start of the combined to finish an impressive 8th overall as Germany’s Anna Matthes and Xeina Fralcova of Russia completed the top ten.
Great Britain were presented with the Team gold as Italy took silver and China bronze
The action resumes tomorrow at the Youth ‘A’ World Championships with the Men’s Final. You can watch the swim and combined events LIVE on the UIPM youtube channel