May 8 - South Korea made sporting history today by securing its first ever gold medal in the World Modern Pentathlon Championships in Rome as victory was earned in the team relay.
Jinhwa Jung, Jin-woo Hong and Woojin Hwang outlasted the fast finishing Germans of Alexsander Nobis, Stefan Kollner and Delf Borrmann, who took silver, and the Russia team consisting of Ilia Shugarov, Maksim Kustov and Alexander Savkin who finished with bronze.
Korea had started the day in convincing fashion, finishing second in the fencing behind defending champions Hungary, who had to pull out due to an injury to Peter Tibolya sustained in the subsequent ride.
A solid swim by the Korean trio was undone by a less than perfect ride which meant they slipped down to fourth ahead of the combined run/shoot event.
But impressive shooting, particularly from Jinwha Jung, meant they moved quickly to the top position, a position they kept until the end despite a frantic last 1000 metres of running from Germany and Russia.
"To win the first ever gold medal for Korea is a dream come true," said an overwhelmed Hong.
"We are all very proud and we hope that this is one of many gold medals to come."
Hwang, who was responsible for the last leg, added: "I could see and hear Germany and Russia closing in.
"I just kept running as hard as I could and thankfully it was enough."
Although Germany started back in seventh in the combined event, they were still confident going in: "We were only 40 seconds back in the combined event, and we know that anything can happen so we just tried our best which was good enough" said Kollner, who shot brilliantly to put them back into contention.
"I thought I could catch the Koreans on the final lap, but they were just too good," added Borrmann.
The Russian team included 19-year-old Ilya Shugarov, who won the only World Cup he has ever competed in last month.
"This bronze is a dream come true," he said.
"We came close to stealing silver, but we were just not quick enough."
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