Hungary’s Tamara Alekszejev will seek to defend her International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup title against a stellar field as the finals are held for the first time in Astana in Kazakhstan.
Alekszejev has been one of the top performers on the circuit since her breakthrough victory in this event in Vilnius a year ago and currently sits at number three in the world rankings.
However, the entry list for the women’s final tomorrow contains Olympic champion Chloe Esposito of Australia and silver medallist Elodie Clouvel of France.
Alekszejev will also be up against her compatriot, Sarolta Kovacs, the 2016 world champion, and the woman who took that title last year, the current world number one Gulnaz Gubaydullina of Russia.
Competition is sure be fierce from the chasing pack, too, in the shape of world number two Anastasiya Prokopenko of Belarus, two-time world junior champion Kim Sunwoo of South Korea, in-form Natalya Coyle of Ireland and Laser-Run specialist Ilke Özyüksel of Turkey.
Russia’s Olympic champion Alexander Lesun has had a quiet year in 2018, but cannot be ruled out of reaching the podium in the men’s final on Saturday (June 23).
South Korea’s medal chances look good given that they are represented by 2017 world champion Jung Jinhwa, World Cup Los Angeles winner Lee Jihun and world number two Jun Woongtae.
Watch out too for perennial contenders such as Pavlo Tymoshchenko of Ukraine and three 2018 World Cup medallists from France – Valentin Belaud, Christopher Patte and Jean-Baptiste Mourcia – as they fly the flag in the absence of 2017 winner Valentin Prades.
Ireland will be hoping for a third consecutive success in the mixed relay on Sunday (June 24), especially if Coyle and Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe are fully fit after the individual events.
A field of 36 male and 36 female athletes who have qualified for this final will compete at three of the capital's sporting venues - Saryarka Cycle Track, Barys Arena, and Kazanat Racetrack.
UIPM President Klaus Schormann said: "Astana is a new destination on our Pentathlon World Cup circuit and a fitting venue for this special occasion.
"Kazakhstan has become an important pillar for UIPM and the Olympic movement in Asia.
"Many important sporting events have been staged here and we are proud to bring our global community together in this spectacular city.
"The Pentathlon World Cup Final is a very important moment in the season.
"Competition will be fierce between 36 women and 36 men who have performed at a high level throughout four World Cups in Cairo, Los Angeles, Kecskemet and Sofia."