Ireland’s participation in UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Cup Sofia II came to an end when the team chose to withdraw on the eve of Natalya Coyle competing in today’s Women’s Final.
The decision was taken late on Friday 16 April and the team – comprising athletes Natalya Coyle and Sive Brassil and coaches Martina McCarthy and Andrey Fedotov – will travel back to Ireland as soon as possible.
Paddy Boyd, Pentathlon Ireland Chief Executive, said: “The decision to withdraw the Irish team from UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Cup Sofia II was taken in response to positive cases of COVID-19 emerging within the competition environment in the days leading up to today’s Women’s Final, causing concern to all team members.
“Our No.1 priority is the health and safety of our teams and Performance Director Martina McCarthy has kept us closely informed of developments throughout the competitions in recent weeks in Hungary and Bulgaria. We all regret the circumstances but we are all 100% behind the decision to withdraw the team at this late stage.
“The next competition on the calendar is the UIPM World Cup Final in Hungary in May, where we hope to have three athletes competing in a safe and secure environment. Pentathlon Ireland will continue to do all it can to support our athletes’ attempts to qualify and/or prepare for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
Natalya Coyle said in a social media post: “Unfortunately I won’t be competing in the final. Over the past 48 hours a number of positive tests were returned from coaches/athletes. I am not vaccinated and my main aim of this year is the Olympic Games which I’ve already qualified for. So we decided to withdraw.
“I won’t lie, I’m really upset not to be competing. I am feeling really confident in my fitness and was very excited to hit the start line. But I think I’ve made the correct decision.
“Thanks to my coaches for keeping us safe this trip and hopefully we will be back out on the start line again soon.”