Jung Jinhwa adds a World Cup to his world title in Astana ©UIPM

World champion Jung Jinhwa added the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup Final title to his CV in Astana today as he led a South Korean 1-2, with compatriot Jun Woongtae taking silver.

Joining them on the podium was Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe, who went one better than partner Natalya Coyle 24 hours earlier as he won a historic first World Cup Final medal for Ireland.

Jung, 29, is now in possession of two of the three biggest prizes in the sport - as well as the world number one ranking - with the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo only two years away.

Jung started the laser-run in first place with a lead of 24 seconds after a strong performance throughout the final.

He finished with 1,431 points, five ahead of his compatriot and six ahead of the Irishman, who finished two points clear of Ilya Palazkov of Belarus.

His success continued the remarkable rise of South Korea as the most powerful team in men’s pentathlon.

Competition in the concluding laser run was fierce for the silver and bronze medals at the UIPM World Cup Final ©UIPM
Competition in the concluding laser run was fierce for the silver and bronze medals at the UIPM World Cup Final ©UIPM

Jun and compatriot Lee Jihun had already claimed two of the four gold medals on offer during this year's World Cup circuit.

After this dominant performance in the Kazakhstan capital, Jung said: "The World Cup season has been difficult but I had a few days' break before the World Cup Final and that was a very good choice.

"Today was very, very difficult but it was a fantastic race.

"There were many people in the group behind me but I didn't think about them.

"My focus was on first place.

"I'm ready now to focus again on the World Championships."

Silver medallist Jun added: "Today I am the silver medallist and I am very happy, and my team-mate is gold medallist so there is even more happiness in the team.

"The laser run was very difficult, trust me, but I just stayed focused on myself."

Lanigan-O’Keeffe was European individual champion in 2015 and confirmed his excellent form with gold at the World Cup in Sofia only a few weeks ago.

"On the last two laps, everyone around me was feeling it and it was a real battle of guts," he said.

"Anything can happen in laser run and you never know if the leader will keep his head, so I never gave up hope of gold but Jung was the best man today.

"I just kept chasing everyone who was in front of me, and I managed to get past the Russian but I couldn't quite catch the second-placed Korean.

"They have a great team."

Jung was best performer in the fencing, with 25 wins and nine losses, ahead of Ukraine's Yuriy Fedechko with 23/11, but Lanigan-O’Keefe kept in touch with 20/14, the same score as Russia’s Olympic champion Alexander Lesun.

World under-19 champion Ahmed Elgendy of Egypt was quickest in the pool with his time of 2min 00.34sec, although Lanigan-O’Keeffe, Jun and Jung were not far behind him on 2:01.91, 2:02 and 2:02.75 respectively.

A group of nine athletes managed clear rounds in the equestrian section, including Jung, whose composure ensured he would have a massive laser run lead of 24 seconds. 

The medallists display their prizes after the men's competition at the UIPM World Cup Final in Astana ©UIPM
The medallists display their prizes after the men's competition at the UIPM World Cup Final in Astana ©UIPM

Lanigan-O’Keeffe also went round clear to give himself a shot at the podium, while Lesun and Lee joined them with a top score of 300.

Jung was clear for gold, but behind him the competition was fierce.

Fedechko dropped out of the race for the medals, with Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Alexander Lifanov of Russia taking the initiative - but it wasn’t long before they realised they had company.

Jun, who has already won three Pentathlon World Cup gold medals at the age of 22, moved rapidly through the field from his starting position of ninth, and before the halfway mark of the race he had staked a strong claim for silver.

Jun ended up with the fastest laser run of the day and in the end he crossed the line only five seconds behind his compatriot Jung, who took it easy at the end.

Lanigan-O’Keeffe stalled at the final visit to the shooting range, and Lifanov took advantage by moving into the bronze medal position.

But the Irishman moved back into the podium places by regaining bronze from Lifanov, and started to put pressure on Jun.