Hungary’s Tamara Alekszejev and Germany’s Lena Schoneborn boasted the best scores in qualifying at the Modern Pentathlon European Championships to advance to Sunday’s (August 23) women’s final at the University of Bath.
Both women were drawn in the first qualifying group of the day and Alekszejev made a near-perfect start by racking up 19 victories in the fencing round to lie second in the standings, while the reigning world champion Schoneborn lied in fifth after recording 17 wins.
Their performances in the fencing event provided the ideal platform to secure their qualification to the final, as despite posting times of 2 min 20.44sec and 2:21.16 respectively in the swimming event, they remain in pole position to advance.
Schoneborn would prove to have the edge on her rival in the combined event as she posted a time of 13:07.58 to beat the Hungarian by 18 seconds, which saw her make up for her point losses to Alekszejev in the opening two events.
While both Alekszejev and Schoneborn ended on a total of 1,032 points, the quality of the field was made apparent by Lithuania’s Laura Asadauskaite and Russia’s Anna Burjak ending one and three points behind the winners of the opening qualification event.
The promise of a high quality final, in which Olympic quota berths will be at stake, was added to by three athletes sharing the top spot in the second and final qualification competition, having all ended on 1,030 points.
Again, a Hungarian athlete found herself battling it out at the top of the standings with Zsofia Foldhazi having recorded 17 wins in fencing, before posting a time of 2:12.64 in the swimming to chalk up fifth place finishes in both events.
It ensured that she had a strong grip on a qualification berth for the final heading into the combined event and despite her time of 13:35.20, which saw her place 18th in the event, she still sealed her place in the final with ease.
Belarus’ Anastasiya Prokopenko and Poland’s Oktawia Nowacka joined Foldhazi on the 1,030 point mark, with the latter recovering from an average performance in the fencing by producing solid displays in swimming and the combined competition.
Fans of the hosts Britain will also be able to cheer on four of their athletes in the final after Kate French, Freyja Prentice and Francesca Summers joined Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray in progressing through qualifying.
Murray though was forced to overcome a scare in the early stages of the qualification event having only recorded 11 wins in the fencing.
But by posting the fastest time of 2:10.19 in the swimming, the 25-year-old immediately got back on track and ended the event in ninth, to ensure she made the final.
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