The pocket sized Lithuanian dynamo easily beat the Ukrainian duo of Iryna Khokhlova and Ganna Buriak who shocked the field to win silver and bronze respectively in scorching conditions in the last event before the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Winning the European Championships caps off a dream 2 months for the mother of one after she won the World Cup Final which catapulted her to the World #1 ranking.
“When I knew I was starting the combined event in 6th place, only 22 seconds behind the leader (Sarolta Kovacs who ended up finishing back in 7th) I was confident I would win, as I have won events being a minute behind before” stated Asadauskaite. “I am very happy that I am the European Champion.”
When asked if she is now the favourite to win the Olympic Games, the 2011 Lithuanian athlete of the year stated: “No, I don’t think so. I would need to perform at double this level to win the Olympic Games. There were a lot of strong athletes missing here, that will make it very tough. I am not going to London expecting to win.”
Khokhlova, who won the 2011 World Military Games had her best ever day in Pentathlon as she stormed to the silver medal. “I am very happy, this was very unexpected for me” said an ecstatic Khokhlova. “Today I improved my fencing results which was really important for me. My combined was ok apart from my last shooting which disappointed me a lot. However even if I shot well there is no way I could have outran Laura (Asadauskaite) for the gold. I hope I can now repeat this job at the Olympic Games. I have been training very hard for this.”
If people were shocked by Khokhlova’s silver, they would have been astounded by World #64 Ganna Buriak’s bronze. Buriak was in a big group in the final shoot gunning for the silver and bronze medal and held her nerve with high profile athletes such as Leila Gyenesei, (HUN) Donata Rimsaite (RUS) and Sarolta Kovacs (HUN) around her. ‘There was a lot of pressure on me going into the final shoot. However I was able just to focus on my shooting and thankfully that was enough for me to get the medal” stated Buriak.
Donata Rimsaite (RUS) who started the day in brilliant fashion by winning the fencing managed to hold onto 4th place, just ahead of Leila Gyenesei (HUN) and Heather Fell (GBR) who finished their season in style after missing out on Olympic selection.
Rimsaite’s 4th place combined with Ekaterina Khuraskina and Edokiva Gretchicnikova’s strong positions ensure Russia grabbed the teams gold ahead of Great Britain and Hungary.