Isobel Radford Dodd progresses to the Junior World Championships semi-finals

Isobel Radford Dodd progresses to the Junior World Championships semi-finals

There was another great breakthrough for Ireland’s next generation of pentathletes as Isobel Radford Dodd qualified for the Women’s semi-finals of the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships in Poland on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old from Greystones finished an impressive 7th in her qualification group on the opening day of the Women’s Individual competition in Zielona Gora.

This year’s Junior World Championships is the first to feature a new elimination format for individual competitions, designed by UIPM for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Athletes must progress through Qualification and Semi-finals to earn one of 18 places in the Final.

Radford Dodd was competing in Qualification Group B on Tuesday alongside teammate Hanna D’Aughton with a five-strong Irish team taking part in the premier global competition for athletes aged under-22, a strong signal of the young talent being developed at national level in Ireland.

Radford Dodd, who made her senior World Championships debut in Egypt this summer, has made a name for herself at youth and junior levels for her Fencing prowess and again shone on the piste Tuesday as she recorded 15 victories, fifth best in 24-strong qualification group. As the action moved to the Swimming discipline, Radford Dodd went one better and was fourth-fastest in a time of 2:17.67.

In such a challenging format, the Laser Run continues to be a crucial culminating discipline and the two Irish competitors were neck and neck with just nine hundredths of a second splitting them in the combined. D’Aughton was fastest in a time of 13:03.44 with Radford Dodd crossing in 13:03.53.

That run gave Radford Dodd 1035 points overall, seventh best in her qualification group and 22nd best overall, well within the top 36 who progress to Thursday’s Women’s Semi-final. D’Aughton’s final tally of 973 wasn’t enough to progress but the Cork native can be very proud of a campaign that has seen her make her senior World Cup and World Championships debut.

There was also Irish interest in Monday’s Men’s Relay where Caolan Costello and Robert Cherry, both of whom are still just 17-years-old, moved up an age grade to compete in a Junior competition for the first time. Coached by Tim O’Brien, the duo certainly didn’t look out of place among the best Junior pairings in the world and started well in the Fencing discipline. They also completed two impressive rounds in the Riding event with Cherry unfortunate to role an obstacle on his final fence. The pair finished 14th overall.

Action moves to the Individual Men’s Qualification on Wednesday where there will also be Irish interest in the shape of Ben Makin, who will make his international debut in Pentathlon Ireland colours.

The UIPM 2022 Pentathlon Junior World Championships run from October 2-9 in Zielona Gora, Poland. For competition updates visit the UIPM website or download the UIPM Central app.

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