The Irish team will travel to Italy later this week to compete in the second World Cup event of 2011. Natalya Coyle will be looking to build on a positive start to the season after her 21st place in the first World Cup event in Palm Springs. While Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Eanna Bailey will be hoping to improve on their performances from the first world cup and qualify for the final in Italy.
Olympic Scholarship athlete, Natalya, 20, from Co. Meath is the sole Irish representative in the women’s event and her first goal is to qualify for the final at the world cup event. With record entries to the women’s competition, over 90 athletes must compete in semi final competitions comprising of fencing, swimming and the combined run/shoot event (no riding). The top 12 athletes from each of three semi finals will qualify, giving a field of 36 athletes for the final. Natalya will be hoping for a repeat of her form from the USA where she coasted through the qualification competition however the record number of athletes will make this a tough task. The semi finals for the women’s event will be held on Thursday 14th April with the final taking place on Saturday 16th.
The men’s semi final will be held on Friday 15th April where Ireland will be represented by Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Eanna Bailey. Both athletes will be looking to achieve qualification for the men’s final and their first opportunity to compete in a final at a World Cup event on Sunday 17th April. With over a 100 athletes expected for the men’s competition, qualification will be split over three semi final groups, meaning just the top 12 from each group will qualify for the final. Arthur narrowly missed on this achievement at the last World Cup competition where he finished in 14th position, just two places off qualification.
The 2011 World Cup Series:
· World Cup 1 – USA, 23rd – 27th February
· World Cup 2 – Italy, 14th – 17th March
· World Cup 3 – Hungary, 5th – 8th May
· World Cup 4 – China, 26th – 29th May
· World Cup Final – Great Britain, 9th – 10th July (Olympic Qualification Event*)
The top 36 ranked athletes from WC 1-4 will be invited to contest the World Cup Final
Further information on the Pentathlon and the World cup series:
· Union International de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) – www.pentathlon.org
· www.facebook.com – Search pages for “Pentathlon Ireland”
· Pentathlon Ireland – www.pentathlon.ie
*Olympic Qualification (1st June 2011 – 31st May 2012)
There are two main ways Irish athletes will look to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games:
1. Through an official Olympic qualification competition
§ 2011 World Cup Final – Winner of this gains Olympic qualification
§ 2011 World Championships – Three best ranked athletes gain Olympic Qualification
§ 2011 European Championships – Eight best ranked athletes gain Olympic Qualification
§ 2012 World Championships – Three best ranked athletes gain Olympic Qualification
2. Through the Pentathlon World Ranking (PWR)
§ Places will be allocated to top ranked athletes on the PWR who have not previously qualified an Olympic Qualification spot. Athlete’s three best performances from 1st June 2011 – 31st May 2012 will be used for the PWR.
§ Only two athletes per nation (per gender) can compete at the Olympic Games so where nations qualify more than two athletes, extra places will be awarded to the PWR qualification system.
§ Athletes will gain ranking points based on their final positions in competitions; different competitions are worth different
· Level 1 – World Cup final and World Championships are worth the most ranking points. 1st = 80points
· Level 2 – World Cups and other major championships. 1st = 60points
· Level 3 – Other international competitions. 1st = 40points.