Russia's Aleksander Lesun topped the men's qualification Group A standings as he begun his title defence in style at the European Modern Pentathlon Championships in Székesfehérvár.
The reigning Olympic champion finished with a total of 1,125 points, beating nearest challenger Joseph Choong of Great Britain by a margin of five in the Hungarian city.
Germany's Marvin Faly Dogue completed the top three with 1,119 points.
The strongest performer in Group B was also a Russian with Kirill Belyakov managing an unrivalled 1,129 points.
France's Christopher Patte ranked second with 1,127 points, while Ukraine's Denys Pavlyuk came third with 1,121.
The men's final is due to be held on Sunday (July 22).
Tomorrow will see the women's final take place.
Russia's Gulnaz Gubaydullina and Uliana Batashova topped their respective qualification standings yesterday.