Pentathlon Ireland secured three top ten finishes at the Hungarian Indoor competition this weekend with Natalya Coyle narrowly missing out on the medals by finishing 4th, Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe in 5th and Eanna Bailey in 9th. Further success was achieved by the High Performance Programme’s Development athletes with Kate Coleman Lenehan 17th, Sive Brassil 19th, Naomi Mullins 21st, Tom O’Brien 38th and Conor Hillick 48th.
Coyle’s last competition was over six months ago at the Olympic Games in London where the Young Irish athlete placed a tremendous 9th position. Eager, and determined as ever, Coyle underlined her position as a world class athletes with a positive performance for the beginning of the new season. She beat 25 of her opponents in the one touch fencing competition and lost to 15 athletes, giving her a pentathlon score of 940 in 7th position. Not yet back to her best in the pool, Coyle’s time of 2.22.63 scored 1092 pentathlon points with room to improve for the coming season. An assured riding performance saw her maintain her position near the top of the leaderboard and she started the combined run/shoot event in equal 5th. With an altered format for 2013 of 4 x shoot/800m, Coyle produced a focused shooting performance to place her in contention of the top spots however the gap to bronze prooved slightly too great in the running and Coyle crossed the line in 4th place, her highest international result to date.
Both Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Eanna Bailey have both won international medals previously and Lanigan-O’Keeffe was close to repeating that feat again. In his first season as a Senior athlete, Lanigan-O’Keeffe looked destined to win another medal at this competition. Beginning with his swimming, he placed 5th with a time of 2.06.64 for 1320 points. A superb fencing display of 32 victories and 16 deafets gave him 968 points and a clear round in the riding adding another 1200 points to his tally. Lanigan-O’Keeffe began the combined run/shoot event in equal second position, just two seconds off the of the competition leader. As the name suggests, all events are held indoor; this meant that each of 800m running laps consisted of of three loops around a small indoor track. Lanigan-O’Keeffe made unfortunate error and over ran by about 30m during his second 800m lap, this gave his competitors a serious advantage and one that he could not redeem. Crossing the line in 5th posititon is an excellent start to the season but Langain-O’Keeffe will go away knowing a medal could have been his.
The third of the High Performance athletes, Eanna Bailey also produced an excellent competition. A time of 2.20.62 in the pool (1332), 27 victories in the fencing hall (888) and just one knockdown in the riding event (1156) saw him start the combined run/shoot in 8th position. Bailey lost some concentration on the fourth and final shoot series but ran well to finish the competition in 9th position.
Pentathlon Ireland sent a full quota of eigth athletes to this competition, with the Development athletes being given an opportunity to gain expereince. All three females, showed massive potential with Kate Coleman Lenehan and Sive Brassil finishing 17th and 19th respectively. Naomi Mullins who was impressive in the pool and finished 3rd in the swimming event with a time of 2.14.06 and finished 21st overall. Tom O’Brien and Conor Hillick completed the men’s team and finished 38th and 48th respectively.
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Olympians Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe finished 4th and 5th respectively