Over 150 of the next generation Olympians have made the trip to Hungary for what will be a very hard fought battle to crown not only the individual youth champions, but also the Mixed, Women’s, and Men’s relay World champions.
The Youth World Championships work differently to other senior and junior Pentathlon competitions. They revert back to the old school rules which sees them have straight finals. This means that the individual finals will go over 2 days and each Pentathlete will have to fence each other, so each boy will have a mammoth 81 fencing bouts as there are 82 competitors. They will all then swim in seeded heats like usual and then for the big finale, do the combined event in 2 rounds to crown the Youth World Champion.
Also, important not to forget is that the Youth category do not ride, so they only do 4 disciplines out of the 5.
The raging hot favourite for the men’s competition will be British Joseph Choong. Choong, who won the 2012 Youth A European Championships and placed 4th at the 2011 World Championships will have been inspired by watching 1st hand the greatest show on earth in his home country in August and will be raring to go.
Fencing sensation, which Choong just beat at the European Youth A Championships Ilya Palazkov (BLR) will be the one to put serious pressure on Choong in the chase for gold. Other big names to watch out for are Sebastian Reder (AUT), Oleg Naumov (RUS) and Jihun Lee (KOR).
European Youth A Champion and Youth A World #1 Paula Markowska (POL) who is lightning in the combined event will be the women to beat in the women’s field. The big Spanish hope for the future Marta Garcia-Miguel (ESP) has performed very consistently in the past 12 months of Youth events, and all reports inside Spain are saying she is ready to take that next step and win the title.
The other big challengers for the medals and the converted crown are Tatsiana Rahachova (BLR) Marie Oteiza (FRA), Eilidh Prise (GBR) and Noemi Hada (HUN).
All the action begins tomorrow (Wednesday) with the Men’s and Women’s relay, with the Mixed relay on Thursday and individual events kicking off on Saturday.
As is now tradition at the Youth World Championships, the athletes will have a rest day on Friday, where they will be treated to a Hungarian Culture day.
As usual, live results can be found on Pentathlon.org/2012youthworlds and there will also be a live webcast available on all the days.