The triple world champion held out Donata Rimsaite (RUS) who is also on the comeback trial and speedster Laura Asdauskaite (LTU) who came from 17th position to snatch bronze from the impressive Samantha Murray (GBR) who had to settle for 4th.
Caze had the nice feeling of having a poor fence by her lofty standard and still coming 2nd behind Rimsaite. “My head just was not right for the fencing and was my worse discipline of the day.” said the champion.
A trademark quick swim and a near flawless ride meant that the 27 year old had a 20 second lead heading into the combined event. The Frenchwomen then completed her shooting in 47,6 seconds which led her to an historic win.
Caze who returned to Szazhalombatta for the first time since sustaining an injury here 12 months ago which ruined her 2011 season was very emotional after this victory: “I can’t believe it, last year was very difficult. I am now starting to regain confidence. I struggled with my running at World Cup #2 (Caze finished 10th) so for the past 3 weeks I have been training just for running and it paid off, but I still have a lot of work to do if I want to win gold in London.”
Like Caze, the former World #1 Rimsaite has struggled in 2011 with illness and injury and is only now regaining form. “After the fencing I just wanted to survive the competition” said the double World Cup Final winner. “Until the end I did not expect to be in the top 3, I just tried to do my best and that was 2nd place so that is great. I am really happy to be able to compete with the big guns again!”
Mother of one Asdauksiate produced one of her trademark combined events coming from 17th to claim the bronze medal, which she thought was 6th place. “I had no idea in 3rd position, I just ran and ran. I thought I was about 6th! When I realised I was 3rd, I was really excited, I knew I would move up with my strong running, but I never thought I would get back to 3rd as I was disappointed in the other events.”
Samantha Murray kept her London 2012 hopes alive with a devastating shooting performance of 37,4 seconds moving her from 20th to 4th in the combined event. Janine Kohlmann made up for her poor start to the year to finish 5th and World #1 Lena Schoneborn (GER) finished in an unfamiliar 6th position.