Sive Brassil sent out the most emphatic signal yet of her progression into the elite of Modern Pentathlon as she finished a career-best 8th in the final of 2022 European Modern Pentathlon Championships in Hungary on Sunday.
The Galway native turned in a superbly consistent performance across all five disciplines in Sunday’s final in Székesfehérvár to highlight a season in which she has impressively picked up the baton as Ireland’s senior pentathlete in the wake of the retirements of Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lanigan-O’Keefe over the past year.
In an 18-strong field packed with some of the biggest names in the sport, Brassil was on the back foot early after a testing Fencing round in which her 15 victories and 20 defeats left her 13th. However the 28-year-old kept her nerve in a dramatic Riding discipline to catapult herself back up the standings, coming close to a perfect score for sixth best in the round. As proceedings moved to the pool, Brassil continued to impress finishing in a time of 2:20.66, the seventh-fastest mark in the Swimming round.
Supported in Hungary by Pentathlon Ireland coach Andrei Fedotov, performance director Martina McCarthy, running coach Evan Scully and rookie teammate Isobel Radford Dodd, who made her European Championships debut this week, Brassil approached the decisive Laser Run knowing that a first-ever top-10 finish at the continental championships was now very much within her grasp. She duly delivered with a superb display of hard running and sharp shooting, finishing the combined in a time of 11:45.67, sixth fastest giving Brassil a final tally of 1357 points.
While Great Britain duo Charlie Follett and Joanna Muir toasted taking gold and silver respectively, with Hungary’s Michelle Gulyas in third, the eighth-place finish was a huge improvement on Brassil’s previous best European Championship result which came in 2019 when she finished 16th.
“I’m over the moon with a top-8 finish in the Europeans,” said a smiling Brassil afterwards. “It was a really solid week of competition for me. I knew I had a big result coming, it was just about putting all the pieces together on the same day.”
The result comes after a season in which Brassil has got to grips with pentathlon’s testing New Format designed for the 2024 Olympics. The Paris Games are very much front of mind for Brassil with Sunday’s performance providing a great springboard forward.
“I’m so happy and grateful to all my team and coaches,” added Brassil. “It was years in the making. This puts me in a really good place for next season and I can’t wait to build on this result.”
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