Ready and raring to go at UIPM World Cup Budapest
As one of the world's Modern Pentathlon hubs, Hungary prides itself on producing so many Olympic Champions, but it will find its supremacy challenged with some many quality athletes set to line-up during the five days of competition.
Amongst those present at the press conference were Dr. Géza Réczei, Hungarian Modern Pentathlon Association President, who was eager to see the athletes competing, and Tamas Varga, Head of the Local Organising Committee.
One of the stars of the Hungarian team will unfortunately not be competing in his home event with Robert Kasza telling us, "I have been out for a while and do not feel strong enough at the moment to take to the field with some many talented guys. I will watch it with interest but my aim is now the Kremlin Cup".
This competition is the last opportunity to gain those all important New Balance Ranking points to qualify for the World Cup Series Final in Nzizhny Novgorod, Russia, later this month.
In the absence of UIPM President Dr h. c. Klaus Schormann, UIPM Secretary General Shiny Fang was on hand to answer most of these questions, explaining, "We are looking forward to this competition, Hungary always hosts top class events. We are very happy with the efforts that we made following the last-minute change of venue. These five-days will showcase the very best around. Hungary has been one of the pioneers of Modern Pentathlon and we are looking forward to working closely with the Hungarian Federation in making sure that we continue to grow as a sport worldwide. I would like to to take this opportunity to wish all the athletes and coaches the very best for this competition."
The outstanding favourite in the men's draw will be World Cup #2 Rio de Janeiro winner and Hungarian poster-boy Adam Marosi. The 28-year-old Olympic bronze medallist comes with a big reputation and is the man in form this season after also coming in second place in Palm Springs, USA, in the first World Cup Series event of the year, and after coming 10th in this competition last season, he will be fired up to bring the goods home in front of his public.
He will have to watch out though for Russian World No.3 Ilia Frolov, who will want to put one over his rival before the competition climaxes in Nzizhny Novgorod later this month. Olympic Champion David Svoboda from the Czech Republic has failed to reach top gear this season so has a point to prove whilst there should be strong challenges from Korea's Jinhwa Jung and Lithuania's Justinas Kinderis. Italy's Riccardo De Luca is also sure to be in the mix for honours when the Finals come around.
In the absence of the top ranked women's pair, the tag of favourite will be placed on the USA's Margaux Isaksen after the 22-year-old lefty came up trumps in Rio. Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray is another who will have eyes firmly set on the first prize but she have to be on her game with a whole field of top pentathletes.
The Hungarian pair of Zsofia Foldhazi and Leila Gyenesei will both be keen to make an impact with the event being held in their backyard. The big return of Germany's 2008 Olympic Champions Lena Schoneborn is set to offer some stiff competition all around, and fresh from an extended break; she will want to reaffirm her dominance. Latvia's Elena Rublevska and World Cup #3 gold medallist Ganna Buryak from Ukraine will have big aspirations of claiming the title as well.
Top quality action is guaranteed!