A series of sublime performances by local star Qian Chen saw the 27-year-old Chinese triumphs in an enthralling Women’s Final at World Cup #3. The Pierre de Coubertin Stadium in Chengdu was again treated to some world class pentathlon as Chen delighted the home crowd after she showed good composure in the combined to win the competition.
Chen got her day off to the perfect start with a second place in the fence after recording 25 wins on the piste before a solid swim of 2:16.33 gave her a further 291 points. A good ride around the equestrian course put her second on the run/shoot starting grid and from there she took full advantage of Alise Fakhrutdinova’s wayward shooting to overtake the Russian and go onto to claim gold on home soil.
Wanxia Liang, who had taken the most victories in the morning fence, took bronze whilst Oktawia Nowacka of Poland, one of the in-form athletes of this early season, made her way up from sixth on the combined starting grid to take home the silver medal.
Near-perfect rides for Sarolta Kovacs of Hungary and Mina Jeong of Korea gave them the perfect platform with which to shine in the combined as they finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Great Britain’s Kate French secured her best ever World Cup Series finish after ending her campaign sixth overall. Her compatriot, Samantha Murray, who was the fastest in the pool in the second discipline of the day, was out of sorts in the closing stages of the day and finished 29th.
London 2012 bronze medallist Yane Marques was another to struggle in the combined and the experienced Brazilian had to settle for seventh place. Wei Wang and Qi Huo made it another two Chinese in the top 10. Hungary’s Zsofia Foldhazi was tenth with Russia’s Ekaternia Khuraskina just behind her in 11th.
Fakhrutdinova was 17th as her teammate Donata Rimsaite, who had looked classy in the qualifiers but was eliminated from the ride in the final, ended her competition all the way down 31st position
The Men’s Final is next up with 36 of the world’s finest lining-up tomorrow. Sunday’s is Mixed Relay day in Chengdu