UIPM 2018 Tetrathlon U19 World Championships: Mixed Relay gold gives Egypt 8th medal
Egypt secured their third gold medal of the UIPM Under 19 Tetrathlon World Championships as Salma Abdelmaksoud and Ahmed Elgendy claimed victory in the Mixed Relay.
The silver medal went to France (Emma Riff & Ugo Fleurot) while Russia (Iuliia Sergeeva & Oleg Kupriyanov) claimed bronze in the concluding final of the championships, which was contested by 20 nations.
For Elgendy (EGY) it sealed a fantastic championships as he added a third title to his Men’s Individual crown and team gold, and made sure his country matched the achievement of Italy in winning triple gold.
In total, however, Egypt won a remarkable eight medals, four more than nearest rivals Italy and China. France won two and there was a single medal for Hungary, Korea and Russia.
Today’s confident performance reflected the strong form the Egyptians had shown all week in Portugal, where the biggest-ever gathering of teenage pentathletes had assembled for UIPM’s U19 World Championships, with more than 220 athletes registered to take part across seven days of competition.
Twelve individual qualifiers were also confirmed for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games thanks to their performances in Caldas da Rainha.
Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Elgendy) had a lot of catching up to do after Fencing, which was dominated by Poland (Daria Niedzialkowska & Kamil Kasperczak) – they emerged from the Ranking Round with an impressive score of 28V/10D and added two points in the Bonus Round.
Behind them, three nations – Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Elgendy), Argentina (Martina Armanazqui & Franco Serrano) and France (Riff/Fleurot) – were tied on 24V/14D.
Italy (Beatrice Mercuri & Giorgio Malan) were quickest in the pool by a slim margin. Their time of 1:55.12 allowed them to narrowly edge ahead of Belarus (Katsiaryna Etsina & Alexei Khurs) and Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Elgendy).
The outcome of the first two disciplines was that Poland (Niedzialkowska/Kasperczak) started the Laser-Run with a 15sec lead over Egypt (Abdelmaksoud/Elgendy) with France (Riff/Fleurot) and Argentina (Armanazqui/Serrano) a further 4sec/6sec behind.
Abdelmaksoud (EGY) immediately sensed an opportunity to take the initiative when Niedzialkowska (POL) struggled at the first visit to the shooting range.
After the second shoot, Riff (FRA) also overtook Niedzialkowska (POL) and the most interesting issue became the battle for bronze as Elgendy (EGY) and Fleurot (FRA) took over from their partners and protected their positions.
The 3rd visit to the range proved productive for Russia as Kupriyanov moved them into the bronze medal position, and there was a 10sec gap between each of the top three. With a perfect final shoot, Elgendy (EGY) made himself impossible to catch while Fleurot (FRA) held off a strong challenge from Kupriyanov (RUS).
Behind the top three, Italy (Mercuri/Malan) finished just outside the medals ahead of Argentina (Armanazqui/Serrano) in 5th and Korea (Lee Hwayoung & Moon Juseong) in 6th.
Abdelmaksoud (EGY) said after receiving her gold medal: “I am so happy with this medal, and thank you to Ahmed. It was a great competition and thank you to the coaches. I have worked hard to be at this level now.”
Elgendy (EGY) added: “I think the best performance was our Laser-Run. I ran hard and we increased the gap from second place because of our running, and we are so happy about that.
“It’s a very interesting event, I like to play the Mixed Relay and it increased my medals in this competition.”
Rosa Mota, Portugal’s 1988 Olympic champion, was a VIP guest at today’s Mixed Relay and she paid tribute afterwards to the participants and the local organisers, led by Manuel Barroso, President of the Portuguese Modern Pentathlon Federation.
“It’s an honour for me to be here at the World Championships in Caldas da Rainha. Congratulations for the organisation, congratulations to all the winners and the athletes who took part. I am very, very proud of the athletes who represented Portugal and did very well,” she said.
“I was watching the Portuguese athletes closely and I was very interested to see which of the athletes would qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, where I wish them all well.
“Sport is one of the most beautiful things we can do in our lives, and if we train hard we can achieve many things and realise how good it is to be good in sport, because you can make a lot of friends.”
The action at the UIPM 2018 Under 19 Tetrathlon World Championships has now concluded and all results and reports are available at the UIPM website.
The next competition on the calendar is UIPM Pentathlon World Cup Kecskemet in Hungary from May 3-7.