With the clock ticking down towards the World Championships (Rome, May 7-13) and the World Cup Final (Chengdu, May 26-27), this competition is a great opportunity for many pentathletes to boost their rankings and their confidence.
The home team are being tipped to add more medals to their already impressive collection. In the men’s field, local hero and double Olympic champion, Andrei Moiseev, showed last season that he can peak when it counts with his World and European titles. This season, Moiseev failed to qualify for the final at the first World Cup, had a good day at WC#2 – starting the combined event in second place before eventually dropping to 19th position, and at WC#3 he was only beaten by Nicola Benedetti from Italy, winning the silver medal.
Moiseev will be looking to go one better with a gold in Rostov. His performance in Hungary shows he's in good form, but he'll face a lot of talented opponents, not least his team-mates; Ilia Frolov was the winner of WC#1 and Serguei Karyakin finished WC#2 right behind Lesun, earning a silver medal.
Competing at home, Russia will also introduce some talented youngsters such as juniors Maksim Kustov, ranked #3 in his category, and Ilya Shugarov, who earned silver at Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. A good number of Russian pentathletes who didn’t travel with the team around the world this year are also looking to make a big impact at their début this season.
There are many pentathletes relying on a good performance in Rostov to qualify for the World Cup Final and improve their rankings, while others are most focused on meeting the Olympic qualification criteria. That’s the case for the British, German, Polish, Czech and Belarusian teams for both men and women and for the Italian and Lithuanian women and the Kazakh men.
From Brazil, Yane Marques have been flirting with the podium at World Cups for a while and might get her chance with the absence of some of her toughest opponents, while Americans Sam Sacksen and Michelle Kelly and Canadian Joshua Riker-Fox need a good display in Russia to turn their Olympic dream into a reality.
Four days of fine action are guaranteed with some of the best pentathletes and many pentathletes looking for their breakthrough in their careers and in this World Cup Series. in a new venue in a traditional country for the sport, this World Cup promises to be a fantastic event - and a great fix for for pentathlon fans as they count down to the World Cup Final and the Olympic Games.