Czech duo Ondrej Polivka and Martin Bilko celebrate mixed relay gold ©Facebook

Czech Republic's Ondřej Polívka and Martin Bilko held off a closing surge from a strong field to win men's mixed relay gold at the European Modern Pentathlon Championships in Minsk today.

The pair improved on the silver medal they won behind Russian opponents Alexander Savkin and Aleksander Lesun last year in Sofia.

They led heading into the concluding run-shoot after combining the best performance of the day in fencing with solid showings in swimming and riding.

Their time of 10min 58.57sec in the final event was enough to hold onto gold, but only just.

France's Alexandre Henrard and Simon Casse clocked the best time of 10:23.86 to finish only three points behind the winning haul of 1,485 points.

Patrick and Marvin Faly Dogue of Germany finished just a point further behind in third place.

Poland's Szymon Staskiewicz and Jaroslow Swiderski took fourth on 1,474 points.

Russia's new team of Ilia Frolov and Alexander Savkin finished with an identical points haul but had to settle for fifth due to a slower run-shoot.

Women's individual qualifying is due to take place tomorrow.