Modern Pentathlon European Championship 2017 – Preview & Tips

Modern Pentathlon European Championship 2017 – preview & tips

This week sees the start of the 2017 Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Minsk, Belarus. The modern pentathlon is an Olympic discipline that sees athletes compete over five separate events: fencing, a 200m freestyle swim, show jumping and a final combined event of pistol shooting and a 3200m cross-country run.

Competitors earn points for their performance in each of the five disciplines and the scores are combined to give the overall total, similar to the scoring in the heptathlon and decathlon in track and field. Where the modern pentathlon differs from these events however is that starting times for the last event (combined laser pistol shooting and cross-country running) are staggered so that the first person to cross the finish line is the winner.

Before the final event competitors are ranked according to their score from the first three disciplines and are allocated start times accordingly, with the leader going first, and other starting times being dependent on their current score. Therefore the first person to cross the finish line wins the whole event.

The European Championships are contested annually – last year’s event being held in Sofia, Bulgaria – and, as is traditional in the sport, men and women competed separately for individual, team and relay titles and also for a mixed relay title.

The standard of competition in this year’s event will be as high as ever, particularly with fourteen of the world’s top twenty men (based on the official rankings) and seventeen of the world’s top women being European.

The names to look out for …

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MEN

Pavlo Tymoshchenko – UKR (World ranked 1)

Valentin Pades – FRA (2)

Aleksander Lesun – RUS (3)

Valentin Belaud – FRA (5)

Bence Demeter – HUN (6)

Jan Kuf – CZE (7)

Patrick Dogue – GER (8)

David Svoboda – CZE (10)

Jarolslaw Swiderski – POL (12)

Robert Kasza – HUN (13)

Alexander Nobis – GER (14)

Ilya Palaskov – BEL (17)

Fabian Liebig – GER (18)

Denys Pavlyuk – UKR (19)

WOMEN

Laura Asadauskaite – BEL (1)

Gulnaz Gubaydullina – RUS (2)

Kate French – UK (3)

Alice Sotero – ITA (4)

Annika Schleu – GER (5)

Tamara Alekszejev – HUN (6)

Ilke Osyuksel – TUR (7)

Sarolta Kovacs – HUN (8)

Francesca Tognetti – ITA (9)

Anastasiya Prokopenko – BEL (11)

Elena Potapenko – KAZ (12)

Gloria Tocchi – ITA (13)

Ekaterina Khuraskina – RUS (14)

Lena Schoneborn – GER (15)

Anna Maliszewska – POL (18)

Elodie Clouvel – FRA (19)

Alessandra Frezza – ITA (20)

All of the above, based on their world ranking, will be in with a shout of a medal in Minsk, although the starting lists of competitors are yet to be confirmed. Punters should check these before picking their bets.

As a further guide, the results of last years ‘Europeans’ are a follows…

Men’s Individual:

  • Gold: Jan Kuf (CZE)
  • Silver: Robert Kasza (HUN)
  • Bronze: Riccardo De Luca (ITA)

Men’s Team:

  • Gold: France
  • Silver: Belarus
  • Bronze: UK

Men’s Relay:

  • Gold: Russia
  • Silver: Czech Republic
  • Bronze: Poland

Women’s Individual:

  • Gold: Laura Asadauskaite (LIT)
  • Silver: Gulnaz Gubaydullina (RUS)
  • Bronze: Ilke Ozyuksel (TUR)

Women’s Team:

  • Gold: Lithuania
  • Silver: Italy
  • Bronze: UK

Women’s Relay:

  • Gold: Czech Republic
  • Silver: Russia
  • Bronze: Italy

Mixed Relay:

  • Gold: Czech Republic
  • Silver: Russia
  • Bronze: Italy

The Czech Republic were clearly the dominant force a year ago and will again be a force again in Minsk. While individually they only have two athletes in the world’s top twenty men, and none in the women’s, as a team they remain a formidable force, alongside the other Eastern European countries.

Aslo, based on the world rankings, in the men’s event the French looked well equipped to perform well in Minsk, and in the women’s event, Italy – with four athletes in the world’s top twenty – look set enjoy a good championship.

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