Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1293, (28 April - 4 May 2016)
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1293, (28 April - 4 May 2016)

Ahram Weekly

One more to go

Egypt’s Modern Pentathlon athletes continue their international winning streak as they claim the silver medal at the teams’ event in World Cup 4 in Hungary, reports Inas Mazhar

Al-Ahram Weekly

With this medal, Egypt has now four medals in four of the five World Cup events held so far. Amr Al-Geziri won a gold medal in the men’s individual competition at the World Cup 1 held in Cairo in February. In World Cup 2 in Rio de Janeiro, it was the other Geziri brother, Omar, who won a silver while the team of Haidy Adel and Islam Hamed claimed the silver medal in the Mixed Relay competition.

In World Cup 3 in Rome, the Egyptians did not win any medals, but the young athletes were back to form at the World Cup 4 which recently concluded in Hungary with a silver medal in the Mixed Relay competition.

Guatemala’s preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics were given a boost in Hungary when their leading duo Isabel Brand and Charles Fernandez won the Mixed Relay gold at the fourth round of the 2016 UIPM World Cup.

According to the official UIPM website, on the final day of competition in Kecskemet, the powerful Central American pair timed their campaign to perfection as they surged to the front of the field with a near faultless Riding performance. The Guatemalans, who are trained and coached by Egyptian head coach Walid El-Sayed never looked back, finishing clear of Egypt (Sondos Abu Bakr and Sherif Nazeir) in second and Germany (Alexandra Bettinelli and Alexander Nobis) stealing into the bronze medal position at the end, as Spain’s medal challenge fell narrowly short.

Host nation Hungary, which won three medals in the individual events, settle for fifth place with Mexico and Argentina rounding out the competition.

But for Guatemala, this was a dominant victory that will raise expectations for Fernandez and Brand, two bright and gifted talents aged just 20 and 19, respectively, who are proving youth can prosper at the very top of the sport.

“It’s my first World Cup medal and I am really, really pleased,” Brand told the media following his victory. “I was really happy with my Fencing and I had a good horse – I loved him. Shooting was also really good and swimming, too.”

It was over the fences that Guatemala hit the front, overtaking Spain with a faultless display. Brand, from a strong riding family background, led the way but this was a gold medal victory secured with great teamwork by Fernandez. Fernandez, individual gold medalist at last summer’s Pan American Games in Toronto, was equally impressive.

“We’re just very happy with the performance, especially Riding,” said Fernandez. “After that, we were able to maintain our lead in the Combined Event. Overall it was a great competition, we learned a lot and we are looking forward to the next competitions, especially the Olympic Games.”

The official website reported that the final day’s action began in the pool where Marta Garcia-Miguel got Spain off to the perfect start in the women’s leg, storming home ahead of Guatemala’s Brand with Hungary’s Tamara Alekszejev in third.

In the men’s 100 meters, Christobal Rodriguez confirmed Spain’s Swimming superiority, comfortably winning ahead of Fernandez of Guatemala. With a great finish, Egypt’s Nazeir took third place to join the top three as action heated up.

In Fencing, Guatemala had the best start and after three rounds they had 11 wins, ahead of the Hungarians. Spain found their form and in the next three rounds won 12, with only six defeats taking the lead with 21 wins. Egypt was close behind with 19 wins, and finished in second place.

However, the leader board was rapidly tightening with four other teams ending the discipline with 18 wins.

Garcia-Miguel and Rodriguez then confirmed Spain’s position at the top of the field as they were the last team standing in the Fencing Bonus Round. However, things were soon to take a significant turn when fortunes were very mixed in Riding.

Argentina (Pamela Zapata and Sergio Villamayor) and Mexico (Mayan Oliver and Ismail Hernandez Uscanga) picked up penalties. Egypt had been very impressive with a pair of speedy clear runs, but Abu Bakr picked up a very costly time penalty for leaving the transition area. In came the Guatemalans Brand and Fernandez with an exhibition of clean riding that put all the pressure on the leading Spanish. However, when Rodriguez’s mount refused the first fence, Guatemala were clear.

It was to stay that way as Brand laid all the groundwork with a supreme performance in the Combined Event, putting on an exhibition of Shooting.

Abu Bakr made amends for an earlier error as Egypt moved into second before the changeover.

Fernandez was clear of the field and while there was a slight wobble on the second round of shooting, Guatemala finished clear of Egypt, with a

stirring final leg performance by Nobis helping Germany to win bronze.

All eyes now turn to Sarasota-Bradenton (USA) for a highly anticipated World Cup Final which is scheduled to take place on 5-8 May.

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