Ireland’s Natalya Coyle was narrowly squeezed out of the medals at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup final in Kazakhstan, as she finished fourth.
Modern Pentathlon is a sport which tests the all-round ability of an athlete. It is a combination of five disciplines: fencing, show jumping (riding), swimming, target shooting and running (laser-run). The World Cup Final in Kazakhstan saw the best international athletes battle it out for the top place finishes.
On Friday 22nd June, the athletes competed in the first discipline; fencing. Natalya Coyle found herself fourth overall as she won 22 of her 34 fencing duels. Sive Brassil and Eilidh Prise recorded 9 wins from a possible 34 in the fencing duels.
The swimming round followed and all three Irish athletes performed well. Eilidh Prise finished second in her heat and amassed 271MP points. Both Sive Brassil and Natalya Coyle won their respective heats in times of 2:14.81 and 2:16.98. As a result, Sive earned herself 281MP points and Natalya 277MP points.
Following a bonus fencing round, the athletes competed in the riding event. This is the final round which combined with the previous rounds determines the athletes handicapped start times.
Sive Brassil had a flawless run and collected all 300MP points on offer. Natalya Coyle earned a total of 293MP points, having completed the course without receiving any obstacle penalties but lost 7 points from time penalties. Eilidh Prise finished with 261MP points.
With top-12 performances in all three rounds, Natalya Coyle headed into the final combined event (laser-run) in fourth. The Meath woman quickly demolished her handicapped start as she exploded out of the start and moved past Russia’s Ekaterina Khuraskina into third position.
Natalya did well to match the rapid start of eventual winner Chloe Esposito and even moved up to second momentarily due to a brilliant shooting round. In the end however it wasn’t to be and with difficult conditions underfoot, the deep sand eventually took its toll. Lithuania’s Gintare Venckauskaite took bronze, Hungary’s Sarolta Kovacs took silver and Australia’s Chloe Esposito took gold.
Agonizingly close for @Natalyacoyle who finished in 4th place, just 6 points off bronze position. A good performance by #TeamIreland at the #UIPMWorldCupFinal. @eilidhprise finished with 1195 pts (28th place) & @sivebraz at 741 pts (33rd). Well done to all #HerSport #WomenInSport pic.twitter.com/FfgqnwHtim
— HerSport (@HerSportDotIE) June 22, 2018
Overall, despite being edged out to a podium finish, Natalya should be delighted with her progress this year and she is beginning to reap the rewards of all the hard work and hard sessions behind the scenes. The European Championships in Hungary from 17-23 July will be the final event which Natalya competes in this season.
One thing is for certain, Team Ireland are making waves in modern pentathlon. With world-class athletes and Tokyo 2020 just around the corner we look forward to seeing Team Ireland fighting for more medals!