Congratulations to Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe who retained their mixed relay gold at the modern pentathlon World Cup final in Lithuania yesterday.
The pair began the final laser-run event in the lead, having built up a 23-second advantage allowing them to follow up on last year’s US success. Coyle ran the first two laps of 800m, each including firing at five targets, and maintained Ireland’s advantage over the chasing pack, led by France, Egypt and Russia. Lanigan-O’Keeffe took over for a further two laps, and although he saw Frenchman Valentin Prades cut his lead to seven seconds entering the final lap, the Kilkenny man had enough in reserve to sprint clear of his rival on the final lap.
“Started very strong in the pool, great fence, great ride and held it together in the combined. We’re delighted with that to be honest. A brilliant day,” Lanigan-O’Keeffe said. “I’d say that was the hardest relay we’ve ever done, a stacked field from top to bottom. We were going into it going, ‘this one could be tough,’ and it was, but we are delighted to beat that field today. “Everything is going really well, we have a new coach, Walid [Sayed], it’s just really exciting times and we’re looking forward to the future.”