The Irish Modern Pentathlon team is currently represented by three athletes at the Senior European Championships in Medway, UK.
Prior to the event Natalya Coyle, Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Eanna Bailey were all looking to perform well at this Olympic qualification event. The top eight athletes will gain automatic qualification for the London 2012 Olympic and with 15 of the World’s top 20 ranked athletes in the men’s event and 16 from the top 20 in the women’s event, these places will be highly fought over.
Going in to the competition Natalya Coyle was leading the Irish challenge. The 20 year old, Meath athlete is currently ranked 42in the World and seeded in 29th position for the European Championships. Coyle recently finished 20th at the Olympic test (World Cup final) and her confidence is riding high going to the semi finals on Friday.
However, Lanigan O Keeffe from Pentathlon Ireland is at this moment leading the Irish charge making it through to a place in Saturday’s Finals in the UK. This is a fantastic result for the young Irish man who had a controlled run / shoot combined event, an excellent fence and was the fourth fastest in the swim.
Dubliner Eanna Bailey is in the second semi final and will start combined event (run/shoot) in 20th with top 18 to qualify. Eanna had a great swim to take 3rd place in a semi final of top class Pentathletes. Sixty two men are contesting the men’s event with qualification split into two groups of 31 with the top 18 to qualify. The two Irish guys have been showing impressive form in recent competitions across Europe.
The women’s semi finals will be held on Friday 29 July with 50 athletes competing. There will be two semi final groups of 25 with the top 18 from each progressing to compete in the final on Sunday 31 July.