The 22-year-old was all smiles at the finish as he celebrated winning gold with Vasilionak, declaring, “Although the conditions in China were very challenging for me, thanks to Hanna, we were in a great position to win. I knew that I had it in me to overtake the guy in front in the last 500 metres so I just put my head down and went for it.”
Vasilionak added, “We won because of the coaches and the team, the gold is for all of us.”
A solid ride by Janine Kohlmann and Alexander Nobis primed them for a strong finish in the combined and they did just that. In the final discipline, Kohlmann’s shooting was excellent as she kept within touching distance of the leader and at the changeover she put Nobis in a fantastic position to finish with a final flurry. The Germans taking a well-deserved silver.
China’s Jiahao Han was leading after the final shoot after being put in pole position by his teammate Yufei Bian but could not hold off the challenge of his Belarusian and German pursuers and had to settle for the bronze medal. Bian and Han had earlier won both the swim and riding events.
An impressive performance by South Korea’s Mina Jeong and Jinhwa Jung saw them claim fourth position whilst Japan’s Shino Yamanaka and Tomoya Miguchi were fifth. Kazakhstan made it a fourth Asian team in the top six with Arina Jiyenbalanova and Pavel Ilyashenko finishing behind the Japanese pair.
The Russian duo of Alise Fakhrutdinova and Sergeui Karyakin, who had been leading before the ride after winning the fence and coming third in the pool, struggled on their horses and were off the pace in the combined and ended the day seventh.
The medals were awarded by UIPM Vice-President Kui-Sung Choi, Chengdu Sports Bureau Vice-President Li Yujin and Wallid Sayed, UIPM Technical Delegate