After the qualification stages provided some interesting results, 36 men will now be primed for their assault of the World Cup #2 title in Cairo this Saturday. The semi-finals were only a teaser with the equestrian event now on the schedule adding some extra spice to the proceedings.
It is impossible to judge from the previous results what can happen, as demonstrated by the women, so it will be fascinating to see how young Russian talent Alexander Kukarin fares when the pressure is on and to see how he copes in the riding event. The 20-year-old excelled in the previous round but this will be a real test of his credentials. Same applies for new Chinese sensation Jianli Guo who dazzled from start to finish in the other qualification Group.
World No.2 Valentin Prades is unsuited to the heavy running course which has some difficult turns on a difficult surface. The tall Frenchman struggled with the quick changes of pace needed. His compatriot Valentin Belaud however relished it with his burst of speed and acceleration on short distance ideal for the course. If he can get in a good position coming into the combined he will be looking to improve on his best result of third at a World Cup Series event. Champion of Champion Christopher Patte is another Frenchman with eyes firmly set on claiming at least a podium in Egypt.
Can the El Geziry brothers, Amro and Omar, find their aim in the combined and get on the podium in their hometown? Both are scintillating on the pistes and in the pool but seemingly always falter in the combined.
Omar told us, “The mental aspect of the shooting is what always works against us. Fencing and swimming is never a problem, we always know we will perform. Running we are both strong. If we get it right with the pistol then we know what we can achieve. But it is that knowledge and pressure that works against you sometimes. That is the beauty of Modern Pentathlon.”
He continued on his thoughts for the Final, “For the Final we will see, it would be nice to get a medal in front of family and friends. But again that puts you under pressure. For me I am relaxed, I think that I have it sorted in my head. We’ll see, I just want to enjoy it.”
Junior World Champion Denys Pavlyyuk looked uncomfortable with the heat and has no yet proven himself in riding but he seems to be maturing fast so could spring a surprise here. His Ukrainian teammates Dmitry Kirpulyanskyy and Pavlo Tymoshchenko looked strong in the qualifiers so will be keen to have an impact on the top of the leaderboard. 2012 European Champion Riccardo de Luca and Pierpaolo Petroni of Italy will see this Final as a big opportunity to gain valuable World Ranking points so expect them to be given it their all.
One thing is for sure, it will tight, exciting and unpredictable. All live scores will be displayed on the www.pentathlon.org homepage