Irish modern pentathlete Sive Brassil has achieved a best-ever finish of 26th in the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Championships in Cairo.
The 27-year-old was the sole Irish representative in the flagship competition and after reaching the women’s individual final, improved on her previous best of 28th set in Budapest in 2019.
The Galway athlete, who was 35th in the UIPM Olympic world ranking list before the competition, must now wait to see where she stands in terms of qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympics when the line-up is finalised in the coming days. Team-mate Natalya Coyle, who didn’t compete in Cairo, has already qualified.
Brassil was up against it after struggling in the all-important Fencing Ranking Round held last night (Friday). She managed just 12 victories from her 35 bouts, placing 33rd, although she would later add two points in the Bonus Round.
Today saw an improvement in Brassil’s fortunes, starting in the swimming pool where she recorded the 11th-fastest time (2:19.11). An excellent ride with only five time penalties and all obstacles intact saw her move up to 24th overall, leaving her with one discipline left to salvage her Olympic dream.
In the heat of the Cairo night and on a heavy sand course, the Laser Run was tough going, but Brassil timed a respectable 13:18.20 and dropped just two places to improve on her overall result from 2019.
Brassil and coaches Martina McCarthy and Andrei Fedotov were the only members of the Irish delegation in Cairo after a change in Irish Government travel advice relating to Egypt. The country has been added to the red list for Irish travellers, meaning even athletes who are allowed to travel via performance exemptions will have to quarantine for 10 days – five in a hotel and five at home – on return.
Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe, a two-time Olympian like Coyle, can no longer qualify for Tokyo 2020 after he was ruled out of the World Championships with a hip injury