By Zjan Shirinian

London 2012 bronze medallist Yane Marques is among the favourites to win the World Cup Series opener ©AFP/Getty ImagesFebruary 26 - Some of the world's finest pentathletes are at the Mexico resort of Acapulco as a wide-open 2014 World Cup Series opener begins.

The Pacific coast resort will play host to five days of competition, with women's qualification starting today.

With women's world number one and reigning world champion Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania not at the competition, Ukraine's Viktoria Tereshuk, who won the event last year, has been given the "favourite" tag.

She will face stiff competition from the likes of compatriot Ganna Buriak, winner of two World Cup events last season, and London 2012 bronze medallist Yane Marques of Brazil, who finished last season strongly.

Further down in the draw is Israel's Noah Berkman, who is making only her second appearance on the international circuit.

The 24-year-old, who trains with five different coaches at five different clubs - one for each discipline - said: "I am just happy to be here.

"It will be a great test for myself in only my second competition at the top level.

"I am looking forward to the season.

"We'll just see what happens."

The men's event at the International Modern Pentathlon Union(UIPM) World Cup Series will have its qualification round tomorrow.

A mass of contenders will line up, with Russians Aleksander Lesun and Ilia Frolov among those in the frame for victory.

Christopher Patte of France says he is "feeling strong" ahead of the competition ©Getty ImagesChristopher Patte of France says he is "feeling strong" ahead of the competition ©Getty Images

Hungary will be represented by Adam Marosi and Peter Tibolya, while world champion Justinas Kinderis of Lithuania and France's Valentin Prades will also compete.

Briton Jamie Cooke could be in contention for victory, as could Champion of Champions winner Christopher Patte of France.

Prades said: "It is great to start the season in Mexico.

"It's a great setting and although the hot and humid conditions can sometimes be difficult, I am feeling strong and cannot wait to start competing."

The Opening Ceremony for the competition was attended by dignitaries including the Ambassador of Egypt Yasser Shaban, and Secretary General of the Mexican Olympic Committee Pedro Cuervo.

UIPM President Dr h c Klaus Schormann said: "We are delighted that the World Cup #1 is happening in Acapulco.

"It will be wonderful opportunity to showcase our sport in a region that has really embraced our movement.

"Mexico has been a great driver in terms of development and it has introduced the sport to a whole new generation of young people.

"Being in Acapulco is a recognition of the tremendous work done by the Mexican Modern Pentathlon Federation in recent years."

The women's final is due to take place on Friday (February 28), with the men's the following day.

The mixed relay will be held on the final day of competition on Sunday (March 2)

Cairo in Egypt will host the next event on the World Cup Series from April 2 until 6.

The final will be in Sarasota-Bradenton, United States from June 6 until 8.