Modern Pentathlon – Ireland make it back-to-back World Cup silver medals

AFTER their modern pentathlon silver medal in the mixed relay event at the Sarasota World Cup in Florida last month, Irish Olympians Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe have made it two in a row by winning the silver medal in the Cairo World Cup today (Monday).

Ireland scored 27 victories in fencing to get off to a great start and finished in 5th place. The Irish due then swam a second faster than their time in Sarasota to win the swim in a time of 1:57.70 and moved up into 3rd place overall.

Both Natalya and Arthur rode clear and came 2nd in the ride with only 2 time faults. This meant that the pair started the run/shoot combined event in 1st place. However 2nd place was only 1 second behind and 3rd place only 5 seconds behind, so the pair knew they had a real race on their hands to secure a medal.

Natalya had a great race and handed over to Arthur in first place. Going into the last shooting series Arthur was just in the lead, but a few missed shots meant that he left the range for the final 800m at the same time with Hernandez from Mexico.

The final 800m was a great race but unfortunately Hernandez, who didn’t compete in the men’s individual final yesterday, had fresher legs and just beat Arthur in a sprint finish. Only 4 meters separated the two athletes.

Mexico won gold, Ireland silver and Hungary took the bronze medal.

Andy Mackenzie, acting Performance Director for the Irish team was very impressed with the Irish athletes: “Natalya and Arthur have shown that they are truly world class with this back-to-back podium finish. No other team has managed to achieve this so far in 2015”.

Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe said “I am delighted with the back-to-back silver medal. Natalya and I make a great team. I was very tired after yesterdays’ men’s finals, but it just goes to prove that the mind is stronger that the body.”

Natalya Coyle started off by thanking the Irish Sports Council and the Institute of Sport, as well thanking everyone back in Ireland for the amazing support “It wouldn’t be possible without them all.” She went on to say “I am ecstatic to have won our second medal in a row! I was disappointed not to have made the final, so producing a better performance and winning a medal again makes it all the more sweeter.”

The duo move on to Rome in two weeks for World Cup 3 in the hunt for more silverware.