The top 36 ranked men and top 36 ranked women from the 2011 World Cup series will contest the World Cup Final, with the men’s competition scheduled for Saturday 9 July, commencing at 09:00 with the fencing discipline at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre (NSC).
Not only is the World Cup Final title at stake, but for the winner of both the men’s and the women’s competitions there will be the added bonus of a direct qualification place for the Olympic Games in London next year.
The athletes also have the added incentive of testing the riding and combined event facilities that will be used for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
- Reigning World Cup Final champion Adam MAROSI (HUN) is looking to make it three in a row after enjoying victory in this event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in September 2009 and then defending his title in Moscow, Russia, in 2010. If MAROSI is victorious here it will be all that more special as it will qualify him for his first ever Olympic Games in 2012.
- MAROSI comes into the event placed first in the World Cup rankings and on the back of June’s triumph in the Hungarian Open Championships in Budapest is looking in fantastic form. He has also racked up impressive performances in recent World Cup events, finishing first at World Cup #2 in Italy in April and second at World Cup #1 in USA. Marosi takes a liking to London after winning his last 2 events here being the 2009 World Championships and last year’s World Cup #3.
- The Hungarian faces a stiff challenge, from the likes of David SVOBODA, of the Czech Republic, and Pavlo TYMOSHCHENKO (UKR).
- TYMOSHCHENKO arrives in London ranked number two in the World Cup after a season which has seen him finish in the top six in three successive World Cup events (1st in Palm Springs; 6th in Sassari; 2nd in Budapest, in May 2011). This strong performance has rocketed TYMOSHCHENKO to the top of the World rankings for the 1st time.
- The Ukrainian, who finished seventh in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will be hoping to get off to a flying start in his speciality event, the fencing to have a strong position lading into the combined event which he is also extremely strong.
- European champion SVOBODA also comes to the World Cup Final on the back of strong recent form, with back-to-back victories in June’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow, preceded by a gold medal in the World Cup #3 in Budapest in May. He will be looking for his 1st ever World Cup Final victory which will shoot him to the World #1 position.
- Also tipped for big things is 21-year-old Hungarian Bence DEMETER, the reigning junior world champion, who finished fourth in the rankings overall and picked up his 1st ever bronze medal at UIPM World Cup #4 in Chengdu, China, in May.
- DEMETER’s partner, Sarolta KOVACS (HUN) is the current women’s junior world champion and contests the women’s competition on Sunday (10 July).
- Home interest rests with James COOKE (GBR, ranked 13) and Nick WOODBRIDGE (GBR, 24), while Korea’s Jinhwa JUNG, ranked 27, has already qualified for next year’s Olympic Games competition by virtue of his performance in May’s Asia- Oceania Championships in Chengdu, China.
- Hopes will be high for the athletes outside Europe with World #7 Zhongrong CAO (CHN) and World #15 Jinhwa JUNG (KOR) who have already qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, so their mind will be purely on getting used to the venue for their assault on the Olympic title next August.
- Athletes will have their eyes firmly on their final position with big ranking points on offer. This is very important once we come to the June next year when ranking points will decide the final Olympic Games positions.
The men’s 2011 UIPM World Cup Final begins with fencing at Crystal Palace NSC at 09:00 on Saturday (9 July). It is followed by swimming, also at Crystal Palace, from 12:30.
The athletes switch to Greenwich Park for the riding, commencing at 14:55, before finishing with the combined run/shoot from 18:30.
You can watch all the action live on Pentathlon.org. Check out the schedule here http://pentathlon.org/competitions/world-cup-series/world-cup-final-london/item/953-world-cup-final-live-webcast-schedule.