UIPM 2017 Senior World Championships: Germany sign off with Mixed Relay gold
· Steinborn & Nobis add fourth medal to German haul
· Morsy & Hamad (EGY) bring joy to home crowd
· Belhamri & Belaud (FRA) make a break for bronze
Ronja Steinborn and Alexander Nobis drove Germany to finish a successful UIPM Senior World Championships on a high with gold in the Mixed Relay.
It was Germany’s second relay gold of the week, coming in the wake of Women’s Relay success for Lena Schoeneborn and Annika Schleu, and allowed them to join Korea on two golds. An additional silver and bronze made Germany the most prolific nation of the championships.
Nobis (GER) said after picking up his second medal of the week: “We were very solid today and it was good to see that the track was better – the organisers worked hard on that.
“It was a tough day but we got the gold in the end.”
The other gold medallists of the week were Russia, Hungary and host nation Egypt, who were given further cause for celebration in the Mixed Relay as Haydy Morsy and Eslam Hamad won silver to the elation of the crowd.
With 20 nations competing for the final medals of the championships, Egypt (Morsy/Hamad) and Germany (Steinborn/Nobis) had been impossible to separate throughout a day of needle competition.
It was only in the Laser-Run that Germany took control, with Steinborn (GER) striding away from Morsy (EGY) and creating a lead of about 10sec that she passed on to her partner.
Nobis (GER) did nothing to undo Steinborn’s good work and kept himself out of the reach of Hamad (EGY), who knew his main duty was to protect silver. He did this with some accomplishment, roared on by the Egyptian supporters at trackside.
Hamad (EGY) said: “We are very happy with our silver medal. It was a tough course but it was the same for everybody and all the athletes are used to competing here in Egypt on the sand.”
Bronze was won by France (Julie Belhamri & Valentin Belaud), whose slick running left the Czech Republic (Natalie Dianova & Jan Kuf), Poland (Oktawia Nowacka & Daniel Lawrynowicz) and World Cup Final winners Ireland (Natalya Coyle & Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe) fighting over the other top-six places.
Belaud said: “We had a very good Laser-Run after Julie took us from 8th to 3rd place, and I just had to do my job. To get on the podium in 3rd place is OK for the France team. The sand has been great preparation for our holidays!”
Earlier, China (Bian Yufei & Luo Shuai) and Egypt (Morsy/Hamad) matched each other on the Fencing piste with 24 victories in the Ranking Round, one more than Germany (Steinborn/Nobis), before Egypt (Morsy/Hamad) added two points in the Bonus Round.
Czech Republic (Natalie Dianova & Jan Kuf) and Ireland (Natalya Coyle & Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe) each recorded a fastest Swimming time of 1:57.49 while Japan (Misaki Uchida & Taishu Sato) were not far behind on 1:57.88.
A dramatic Riding competition saw Egypt (Morsy/Hamad) move into pole position for the Laser-Run - but only just. The day’s theme of scoreboard parity continued with three nations scoring 293.
One of them was Italy (Gloria Tocchi & Lorenzo Michele) and the other two were the leaders, Egypt (Morsy/Hamad) and Germany (Steinborn/Nobis), who seemed impossible to separate. However, their rivals from China (Bian/Luo) fell out of contention when they were eliminated.
The result was that Egypt (Morsy/Hamad) set off only 1sec ahead of Germany (Steinborn/Nobis), with Poland (Nowacka/Lawrynowicz) leading the chasing pack 24sec off the lead.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “What we saw today was a great demonstration of the Mixed Relay with 20 teams and an exciting finish.
“Today has shown again that the Mixed Relay is one of the most exciting parts of our movement, and we hope our discussions with the International Olympic Committee will come to a positive success and we will have the Mixed Relay as an extra medal event in the Olympic Games in future.”
The 2018 Senior World Championships will be held in Mexico City (MEX), and Mexico team coach Bedolla Guerrero Héctor said: “I hope you will all come to Mexico next year. We are in preparations right now and we will deliver a great event.”
The next event on the 2017 calendar is the UIPM Biathle-Triathle World Championships in Viveiro (ESP) from September 20-24.