Pentathlon Ireland welcomes today’s announcement by the Olympic Federation of Ireland that Natalya Coyle has been officially selected for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Meath pentathlete, 30, will compete in modern pentathlon in a third consecutive Olympics having finished 9th at London 2012 and 6th at Rio 2016.
Coyle has maintained high performance levels throughout the pandemic and won silver at the only global competition to take place last year – UIPM 2020 Pentathlon World Cup Cairo – before finishing 5th in the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Cup Final in Hungary.
Coyle, who will travel to Japan with her support team on 7 July to begin a preparatory camp, said: “It is always special going to the Olympics, and with this being my third Games, I am still really excited to compete.
“Each Games is a unique experience, and Tokyo will be the most different really, for so many reasons. The extra year has worked well for me, it gave me an extra bit of time to work on my running and fencing, so I am really confident heading into the Games, and looking forward to competing.”
As in 2012 and 2016, two Irish pentathletes earned quota places for the rearranged Tokyo Olympics, but no athlete is able to take up the place offered in the men’s event due to Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe’s season-ending hip injury.
Lanigan-O’Keeffe said: “Unfortunately, due to injury, I am unable to compete to the standard I hold myself to, and believe this spot would be better suited to another athlete who is fit and ready for the challenge.”
Ireland’s Sive Brassil finished 40th in the UIPM Olympic World Rankings and remains on standby for the Games in case of withdrawals.
Paddy Boyd, Pentathlon Ireland CEO, said: “Pentathlon Ireland is very proud of all the athletes who have conducted themselves so well and worked so hard to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the face of a great deal of disruption.
“We congratulate Natalya and commiserate with Arthur, and we know that Sive will be part of our sport for many years to come. We now look forward to supporting Natalya from afar and we are certain the whole nation will get behind her.”