With just eight (8) days to go until the 2013 Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final gets underway in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, UIPM is pleased to reveal the final entry list for one of the most highly anticipated events of this season’s calendar. The world’s top pentathletes are all set to battle it out on one of the biggest stages of all and some scintillating action will be expected throughout the three days of competition.
In the men’s draw, the newly instated World No.1 from Hungary Adam Marosi will be favourite for the top prize after a win at World Cup #2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as a further two second place finishes in the competition Series already this year. The 28-year-old Olympic bronze medallist has had an outstanding season so far and as one of the best all-rounders on the tour, he has the experience to go all the way. He will however have to be weary of the threat posed by an exceptional field lining up behind him, all hungry to make their mark.
A season that has so far been both exciting and unpredictable has seen some remarkable talent emerge with the imposing Frenchman Valentin Prades leading this new wave, having made the transition to the Senior ranks look effortless. The teenager came third in Rio and fourth in Budapest, Hungary, to make the world stand up and take note of his incredible potential. Tall and level-headed, the 2011 Junior World Championships silver medallist is sure to be a major contender for honours. His teammates Jean Maxcence Berrou and Christopher Patte have both been models of consistency in a solid season for the French squad so will be there or thereabouts in their quests for gold.
After starting the season with an impressive win at World Cup #1 in Palm Springs, USA, Aleksander Lesun has since had an underwhelming campaign by his high standards, coming nowhere near a podium finish in his last two events. The24-year-old will now be looking to make home advantage count as he aims to reclaim the New Balance World Ranking top spot from Marosi. He will lead an impressive Russian contingent that will include the vastly experienced reigning European Champion and last year’s World Cup Final winner Ilia Frolov, and Serguei Karyakin, who has all the attributes to reach the very top.
Since taking the Olympic gold at London 2012, Czech legend David Svoboda has been far from his scintillating best but he is a man for the big occasion and will definitely be pumped up for this competition, so will be without doubt in the mix for honours on the day of the Men’s Final.
After coming of age in Budapest with an incredible gold at World Cup #4, multiple world record-holder James Cooke will lead a youthful British team that includes teenage sensation Joseph Evans, whilst Pavlo Tymoshchenko of Ukraine will be another high on confidence after claiming top spot at World Cup #3 in Chengdu, China. With so much talent in the ranks, the competition is guaranteed to be one to savour.
After finding this season’s Women’s World Cup Series dominated by Ukrainian duo Ganna Buriak and Victoria Tereshuk, who together won three out of four events this year, the onus will be on one of them to take the big prize on May 31. Buriak capped an incredible breakthrough year for herself by winning back-to-back titles in both Chengdu and Budapest whilst Tereshuk was victorious in Palm Springs. The big question is who can stop this incredible run of theirs?
Margaux Isaksen from USA was the only one to break the Ukrainian dominance this year, with her maiden title on the Senior tour in Rio, so will be a major contender in Nizhny Novgorod. The 21-year-old Junior World Champion showed her mettle in Budapest by finishing sixth after a blistering combined and proved she can dig deep when needed. Leila Gyenesei from Hungary, Russia’s Ekaterina Khurashkina and Gulnaz Gubaydullina, and Ukraine’s Iryna Khokhlova are also all in with a good shout of affecting the final medal positions, with all showing great poise and precision this season.
Olympic Champion and World No.1 Laura Asadauskaite is the current title-holder and knows exactly when to turn on the style, mixing fantastic skill with dogged determination to excel under pressure. With her status as top dog now under severe threat from an all-star cast, she needs to come up with the goods in Russia to stay ahead of the pack. Her experience will be vital here.
Brazil’s Yane Marques, who claimed a sumptuous bronze at London 2012, will definitely be in contention for medals after missing the last two World Cup Series events. Brimming with confidence after following her hard-earned third place in Budapest, World Champion Mhairi Spence from Great Britain will be another with high hopes of mounting a serious challenge.
The Mixed Relay is wide open with several teams in with a big chance of winning but many predict the Hungarian duo of Adam Marosi and Leila Gyenesei to add another title to the gold medals they claimed in both Palm Springs and Budapest. One thing is for sure, the unpredictability of the draw with make for compulsive viewing.
The competition gets underway on May 31 with the Women’s Individual Final. The Men will then be competing the day after before the Mixed Relay brings the show to a close on June 2. Who will be crowned Champion? Keep up to date with all the results as the competition unfolds at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Modern-Pentathlon.aspx.