A quality day of Modern Pentathlon in the Women’s Qualification phase at World Cup #4 saw Germany’s Lena Schoneborn and Canada’s Melanie McCann win their respective groups as 36 qualified for Saturday’s Final in the Hungarian city of Kecskemet.
2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist Schoneborn’s day began with her putting together a series of decisive wins when it mattered most to take top spot after the fence in Group A. A good swim in the 200m freestyle saw her start the combined in second place and in the run/shoot her speed around the 800m course made the difference as she overtook the leader, local star Sarolta Kovacs, to finish first. The experienced German will be now one the favourites for the overall victory if she maintains this form.
Second overall was the great Hungarian hope and reigning and European and Junior World Champion Zsofia Foldhazi after she had come 7th in the fence and 2nd fastest in the poo. Her teammate Kovacs, who began the run/shoot first, ended the qualifying round third.
Experienced Ukrainian Viktoria Tereshuk finished 4th as Rena Shimazu of Japan came 5th after recording the third fastest time in the combined. Karolina Guzauskaite from Lithuania was the quickest in the run/shoot and ended her day 8th. Tamara Vega of Mexico celebrated a fourth successive qualification to the Final round of a World Cup Series event after coming 11th. Italy’s Claudia Cesarini made her way up from 25th to finish 16th after the second quickest time in teh combined whilst Annika Schleu from Germany was the last to make the cut for Saturday’s Final after finishing 18th.
The fastest swimmer in the group was Alice Fitton but the Brit failed to qualify.
Group B was all about Canada’s Melanie McCann. After finishing a lowly 20th in Chengdu last month, the 24-year-old looked transformed here in Hungary, putting in a decent swim before dominating with the epee to win 24/34 bouts to take pole before the combined. Some strong running and solid shooting meant she remained ahead of her rivals throughout the final event to cross the finish line first, 8secs ahead of second placed Oktawia Nowacka from Poland.
McCann told us, “Today felt great, it is so pleasing when it all comes together like that. World Cup #3 was tough for me but I have just come back from two weeks of training in Ireland and I had so much fun there so now I feel very relaxed.” On her objective for the Final, she added, “I am hoping for more of the same, I think I have the mental side right so we’ll see, I just want to continue enjoying myself.”
Lina Batuleviciute of Lithuania finished 3rd with Varvara Ivanova from Georgia an impressive 4th. Iryna Khokhlova from Ukraine was 5th, just ahead of Great Britain’s Kate French. Italy’ Alice Sotero, who had pipped Korea’s Mina Jeong to top spot in the swim, ended her day 7th with Jeong 11th.
Mhairi Spence of Great Britain, who began the combined first, finished 9th overall, just behind Italian 2012 Junior World Championships silver medallist Gloria Tocchi. The last athlete to make the cut in that group was Argentina’s South American Champion Ayelen Zapata.
The finalist can now look forward to a day of rest as the men are in actin on Friday 2 May. Keep up to date with all the LIVE scores as they unfold on the www.pentathlon.org homepage
Full Competition schedule
- Thursday 1 May: Women’s Qualification
- Friday 2 May: Men’s Qualification
- Saturday 3 May: Women’s Final
- Sunday 4 May: Men’s Final
- Monday 5 May: Mixed Relay