Pentathlon Jr

Inas Mazhar , Tuesday 25 Jun 2024

The 2024 Pentathlon Junior World Championships is currently taking place in Alexandria, reports Inas Mazhar

Pentathlon Jr


The competition is taking place from 25 to 30 June at the Arab Technology, Science and Maritime Academy in Alexandria with the participation of 170 male and female athletes (96 men and 74 women) from 42 countries competing under the supervision of 109 coaches and administrators.

The participating nations are Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Taiwan, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, France, Gambia, Ghana, Georgia, Germany, Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Lithuania, Mali, Mexico, Philippine, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, the US, and Egypt.

President of the Egyptian Modern Pentathlon Federation Sherif Al-Erian revealed that both Russia and Belarus are allowed to participate in the World Championship for the first time since the war broke out between Russia and Ukraine in 2022. Belarus, a close ally of Russia, has supported its eastern neighbour in the Russia-Ukraine war. The athletes will be playing under the flag of the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM).

“The UIPM has agreed on the participation of the athletes of both countries in the World Championships in Egypt as they believe the Egyptians will embrace those athletes and trust that Egypt as a nation does not mix politics with sports, “Al-Erian said.

“Egypt is the title holder of this championship and we are confident that they will [successfully] defend their titles this year, too,” Al-Erian added.

Al-Erian, also vice president of the UIPM and secretary-general of the Egyptian Olympic Committee, also announced that the African Pentathlon Championship will also take place in Alexandria with the participation of eight nations, in all age- categories.

Last week, Egypt claimed two silver medals at the UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Championships when Malak Ismail and Mohamed Al-Gendi moved all the way up from sixth place. Al-Gendi left the final shoot in the lead, but Seo (KOR) overtook him to reclaim the lead and win the world title with a dynamic final run.

Lithuania earned the bronze medal thanks to Elzbieta Adomaityte and Titas Puronas, while Kazakhstan, Poland and host nation China completed the top six.

“I’m feeling very happy, but this race was very different. There was no riding and even the fencing bouts were only worth three points, but we were all very close to each other at the start of the laser run,” Ismail told journalists.

“2024 was a really strong year. The Olympic qualification year is very difficult across the whole season. I did it very well, and now I have the Olympics in less than two months. The whole year was really surprising for me — I didn’t know that I could do this but I did it in the end.” 

Silver medallist teammate Al-Gendi: “It was a very fast race on the last lap [with Seo]; he went very fast at the beginning of the lap and it was a little bit hard for me, but I’m super happy with this medal. We just came out of the shooting range and in the first 50 metres he just went at a very fast pace, so I was in shock and I wasn’t able to be with him to the end.

“The competition ends with a medal — it wasn’t good for me in the individual but I am happy with this result.

“It was a long and hard year with many competitions, as it is an Olympic year, but I was so happy with my two [Pentathlon World Cup] medals and with this medal. I was aiming for more, but in the end it’s good for me.”

In the final analysis of the World Cup, Ismail and Al-Gendi recorded the day’s best laser run time of 12:05.49, but it had to be 10sec better than Korea (Kim and Seo) for them to steal gold and the winners’ time of 12:09.69 was decisive.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 27 June, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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