DRZONKOW, POLAND: May 29, 2017 – Ireland produced another classy demonstration of Mixed Relay tactics as they won gold at World Cup IV with plenty of time to spare.
Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe (IRL), both of whom finished in the top 10 in individual events at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, were taking part in their first Mixed Relay of the 2017 UIPM season but there was no evidence of rust.
The Irish duo, who have a fine record in the Mixed Relay, went second-quickest in Swimming behind Japan (1:56.51), and then led from the front in the Fencing Ranking Round, scoring an impressive 30V/14D.
Korea enjoyed the best of the Fencing Bonus Round, picking off Germany,Poland and Ireland to gain three extra points.
Our athlete’s performed excellently on horseback to only surrendering 30 penalty points on extremely difficult horses as Hungary led the way with a score of 296. But nothing could prevent Ireland starting and finishing the Laser-Run out in front.
Setting out 15 seconds ahead of host nation Poland 22 ahead of Korea and 28 ahead of Germany Ireland never gave the chasing pack a chance.
“We started off the day well and then we had a really good fence, and we didn’t have a great ride so it was lucky we were in a good position. It was a really good day,” said Coyle (IRL).
“I think it’s great when you work together as pentathletes,” said Lanigan-O’Keeffe (IRL). “Myself and Natalya have a good relationship and when one of us is struggling we pick each other up. It makes it a little easier to stay focused.”
John Ledingham, President of Pentathlon Ireland had this to say, ‘’ What a wonderful success in the World Cup where Arthur and Natalya showed what dedicated talented athletes they are. These two Olympians continue to inspire younger pentathletes to greater achievements showing them that hard work and perfect practice will bring rewards in competition and life. Well done the Darragh and the full team behind these excellent young athletes.’’
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “The Mixed Relay is a very important team competition for our movement and our union.
“We are looking forward to the decision of the IOC Executive Board in July when they will decide if our Mixed Relay will be included in the 2020 Olympic Games, as is our wish. The Mixed Relay has already been included in the Youth Olympic Games since 2010.”
The 2017 UIPM World Cup season concludes with the World Cup Final in Vilnius (LTU) on June 23-25 – and all three days of action will be televised live on Eurosport. Stay tuned to the UIPM website for more information in the build-up to Vilnius 2017.