A new World Cup Series season begins within a week in the Californian city of Palm Springs, United States. In the special local climatic conditions of height and desert, pentathletes from all the continents will kickoff the 2013 season with eyes already in Rio 2016 Olympic Games in a long term planning, and looking for ranking points for World Cup Final in a short term.
It will be an interesting mix of pentathletes which experienced different fortunes in 2012. Some don’t want to look back at a disappointing season for their standards, while others want to keep the good momentum they showed last year. There are also those who want to make their breakthrough as a newcomer or confirming their recent ascension was no fluke. Which are the big names that will deliver what they are expected? And which will keep or start struggling with their form? And who are the new faces we will see on tour, or those who were under the radar? Surely the pre-season training will play an important role, especially in this first competition.
Talking about innovation, the season brings a new format for combined event, now consisting of 4 laps of 800 meters running interspersed by 4 shooting series (still of 5 shots) and a new time out limit for shooting, dropping from 70 to 50 seconds. That means a new balance in combined event, even though it still demands athletes needing to run fast and have great accuracy…and still to have good fence, swim and ride.
In the men’s field, the spotlight is on World #1 Aleksander Lesun and on another Russian, Ilia Frolov – winner of 2012 World Cup Final and WC#1 (held in Charlotte, NC, USA) together with Hungarian Adam Marosi and, of course, the Olympic champion David Svoboda from Czech Republic.
In the women’s field, World #2 and 2012 Olympic Bronze medal winner Yane Marques from Brazil will have another clash with local hope Margaux Isaksen, who almost managed to clinch the bronze in London in a thrilling finish. Britain Heather Fell and Ukrainian Victoria Tereshuk look like the main challenges the pair from the Americas will face, but many others can pull a surprise.
In an individual sport that requires multiple talents, the new Mixed Relay World Cup will bring the audience an extra show and once it’s established in the tour and with a view to making it into the Olympic Games, we can expect further adventure in this competition that will delight everyone involved in the sport.