To do so, they will have to cope with much hotter conditions that they endured during the qualification and the Rio sun will be making like tough for the world’s best all round athletes.
Olympic Champion Andrei Moiseev’s (RUS) return for form in the qualification will mean he will start favourite. It is hard to look past the big Russian, as the whole pentathlon world knows exactly what he can do when he is in form, as we saw at the 2011 European and World Championships where he blew the field away to become one of the all-time greats.
If Moiseev does not show his best form, particular in the shoot where he struggled in the qualification, there are a host of other top athletes ready to step on the top tier of the podium. The leading contenders will be those that Moiseev trains with every day, his Russian team mates.
They are led by World #1 Aleksander Lesun who won the bronze at World Cup #1 and is desperate to win his first gold since his World Cup #3 triumph in 2010. Lesun looked in vintage form in the qualification, so he will see this as his chance. Of course World Cup #1 winner Ilia Frolov and Serguei Karyakin will be thinking the same thing!
As well as the drive to win the gold tomorrow there is a lot of men that will have their eyes firmly fixed on gaining as many points as possible to ensure they qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games. Athletes that have not yet qualified, and looked in sparking form yesterday are: Justinas Kinderis (LTU), David Svoboda (CZE), Nick Woodbridge (GBR) and Bence Demeter (HUN). All these men, providing a good start in the fencing could win the event which will all but ensure their spot on the plane to London.
In addition to Russia, Korea and Italy qualified all their 4 athletes into the final. Korea’s hope of a medal will rest on Woojin Hwang, who is currently in the form of his life. Hwang stated: “I am performing so well, I hope I can transfer this form into a medal tomorrow afternoon”. Italy’s best chance of a medal is the speedster Ricardo De Luca. De Luca is by far the quickest athlete in the field, so if he can fence & ride well to be in contention before the combined event, he will make all the athletes in front of him extremely nervous.
In addition to the above athletes Zhongrong Cao (CHN) and silver medallist from World Cup #1 , Pavlo Tymoschenko (UKR) will be in contention if they perform to their potential will be the favourites to win gold if they can come with the server heat forecasted tomorrow.
So who will win the 2nd gold medal of the year? Stay tuned on Pentathlon.org to watch the action on the live webcast.