Ireland enjoyed an excellent start to the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships in Budapest as Eilidh Prise and Kate Coleman Lenehan teamed up to finish fourth in the women’s relay.
The pair bounced back from a tough fencing examination to excel in riding and put themselves in contention for the podium as highly-fancied teams from Germany and Italy fell out of the race.
Starting the Laser Run in fourth place, 17secs behind the top three, the Irish duo held their position but couldn’t make any advances and ended up finishing 21secs behind third-placed Korea, with Mexico winning gold ahead of hosts Hungary.
Prise (23) and Coleman Lenehan (29) knew they stood a chance of a medal in the opening event after winning silver in the women’s relay at the 2018 European Championships. So there was an element of disappointment amid the prevailing feeling of satisfaction.
Prise said: “We are both really happy with fourth place but it’s a little bittersweet because even though we were quite far away from finishing third, we know there are a couple of areas where an improved performance would have catapulted us up onto that podium.
“That’s always the way with fourth place, but we can’t be too hard on ourselves. It’s a great start for me and Kate will be back to do the Mixed Relay with Tim O’Brien on Sunday.
“Kate has been away for a year and it was great for us to get back together after the silver medal we won at the Euros in 2018.
“Even though she hadn’t competed this year, we both knew that on a good day we would be right up there.”
The Irish duo ranked third in swimming with a time of 2mins 03.66secs, before scoring 23 wins and 25 defeats in the fencing ranking round and adding two points in the bonus round.
They enjoyed the third-best riding performance, conceding just 12 points for a score of 288, before finishing with a solid Laser Run time of 13mins 14.15secs in the specially-created Pentathlon Arena at Kincsem Park, Budapest’s top horse racing venue.
Prise will now turn her attention to the women’s individual qualification on Wednesday, aiming to reach Friday’s final where there will be three Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification places on offer.
“I really to want to compete well in the individual, so it was great today to use the relay to flush out a disappointing competition at the Europeans and reset in time for Wednesday.
“It was a really good day and I hope I can reproduce this form in the individual competition.”
She will compete alongside Sive Brassil and Natalya Coyle, who has already secured one of the two Irish qualification berths.
The UIPM 2019 World Championships marks the first time that Modern Pentathlon and Laser Run have been merged into one competition.
The 2018 Laser Run World Championships were held in Dublin, where the Irish team won five medals including silver medals in the elite individual events for Coleman Lenehan and Tom O’Brien.
For more information please contact Jonathan Coates on email or via phone (+44 7788 352219)