Irish pentathletes Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe and Natalya Coyle moved one step closer to Olympic qualification as they came through the semi-finals of the European Championships this week to take their place in the weekend finals.
Arthur finished 4th in his qualifier on Thursday to comfortably move to the next stage and is excited for tomorrow’s final. “I’m really excited to get out there and give it everything tomorrow. I have worked all year for this competition and I’m feeling really fit and ready for the challenge. It’s easy to get excited by it all but tomorrow I’m just going to stick to my process and see where I end up, hopefully it will be enough”
Natalya had a slightly tougher route to the finals, finishing 16th in her qualifying group. The top 12 from qualifying group A and group B automatically go through to the final, with the 12 more places going to the fastest times from either group. Natalya found hard in the combined event to finish with 1012 points and book her place in the final on Sunday.
There are direct spots for the Olympic Games in Rio next year available for both the top eight male and female athletes. In 2012 Arthur and Natalya became Ireland’s first Olympic representatives in the modern pentathlon, with Natalya going on to a top-ten finish in London.
Ireland had a team of eight athletes competing in the event. Eanna Bailey, Tom O’Brien, Kate Coleman-Lenehan, Sive Brassil, Sally McCarthy and Jenny McGeever all missed out on a place in the finals but High Performance Director Andy Mackenzie is very happy with the their performance this week “It was a good performance from all our athletes. Natalya let the occasion get to her but still qualified for the final. Kate only missed out on making the final by 7 points and I’m very happy with the progression of the squad this year”
The men’s final starts at 8.30am on Saturday and the women’s at 8.30am on Sunday morning.