Mission accomplished – Team Russia return home with a total of five World Championship medals.
World Number One Aleksandr Lesun is coming back as the new world champion to added icing on the cake for the squad, who are fast becoming the dream team of the sport of modern pentathlon.
“I'm really happy,” Lesun said. “I've finally achieved what I've always dreamed of – the world title. Now I can say I'm part of a world class team, now there are four world champions in our squad.”
“We have a very strong squad. I heard our men's team is being compared with the Barcelona football team. So it's hard to compete with us and, inside the team, competition is high,” Russia’s Andrey Moiseev added.
There were four athletes at the World Championships competing for two places on the Olympic team in the men's individual events. No one was guaranteed a berth.
In addition to Lesun, the other spot went to two-time Olympic champion Andrey Moiseev, who claimed silver at the world championships.
“I didn't have the Olympics in mind,” Moiseev said. “I always give it my best. So emotionally and physically the Olympic Games and the World Championships are the same for me.”
It was a neck-and-neck competition between 32-year-old Moiseev and 24-year-old Lesun.
Before the final run, Lesun – who was born in Belarus – was in second, just 23 seconds behind his teammate.
But he managed to squeeze past World Champion Moiseev and sprint to his maiden gold.
“It was a tough championship and it was really hard to beat Moiseev,” Lesun stressed. “We were close in every discipline, but I managed to claw out this important victory – and I'm so glad I did it.”
It was the third time in a row Russia finished with gold and silver in the men's individual event at the World Championships, as well as adding another two silvers and a bronze in different disciplines.
“With more than 40 countries taking part, it was an exhausting championships,” Andrey Tropinin, Russia’s coach, said. “We repeated last year's result, so we're satisfied, and optimistic, about the London Games.”