Fresh from his training camp at altitude in Colorado Springs, USA, Lithuanian world No.1 Justinas Kinderis will be the one to beat as the Men’s World Cup #3 qualification phase gets underway at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium in Chengdu, China, on Thursday. 2 groups, one day of competition, 36 move into the Final.
Group A will see Kinderis begin his campaign on the piste and the 27-year-old will be eager to affirm his status as top dog. His fencing having been transformed last season, he will be aiming to get his day off to the perfect start with as many victories as possible in the first discipline of the competition.
The 2013 World Champion will be weary of the threat posed by Hungarian Indoor Champion Robert Kasza, back in form after a shoulder injury last year, and London 2012 silver medallist Zhaohong Cai from China. Egypt’s Amro El Geziry will be in the mix to win the qualification but will need to keep it together at the range as his shooting is often wayward.
The Russian duo of Ilia Frolov and Aleksander Lesun will be the outstanding favourites in Group B. Both have the experience and know-how to deal with anything that is thrown at them. Hungary’s Bence Demeter and Peter Tibolya, Korea’s Woojin Lee and Latvia’s Deniss Cerkovskis will all be looking to break into that top five whilst keep an eye out for the fast improving Manuel Padilla from Mexico, he is almost unmatchable for speed around the combined.
With the competition for places at an all-time high in the French squad, Chengdu will be an opportunity for Simon Casse and Alexandre Henrard to stake a claim for more regular selection. Valentin Belaud, absent this year, made a big statement last year at this competition after finishing third overall, so they know the significance of a good result.
Belarus’ Stanislau Zhurauliou followed his 15th place at the world’s with a bronze at Champion of Champions. His prowess with the epee will stand him good stead so watch the tall man closely.
Schedule: (time CST)
- 10:00 – 12:00 Fencing
- 13:00 – 13:30 Swimming
- 14:30 – 14:50 Combined
- 11:30 – 12:00 Swimming
- 13:00 – 15:00 Fencing
- 16:00 – 16:20 Combined
- Wednesday 16 April – Women’s Qualification
- Thursday 17 April – Men’s Qualification
- Friday 18 April – Women’s Final
- Saturday 19 April – Men’s Final
- Sunday 20 April – Mixed Relay
Keep up to date with all the scores as they unfold on the www.pentathlon.org homepage