ASTANA, Kazakhstan, June 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Rio 2016 Olympic champion Chloe Esposito of Australia won gold at the UIPM Pentathlon World Cup Final for the first time today after a determined comeback.
Sarolta Kovacs of Hungary had started the Laser-Run, the final event of the Women's Individual Final, with a lead of 13 seconds but Esposito gradually reduced the deficit and then overtook her rival on the final visit to the shooting range.
Kovacs, the 2016 world champion, summoned the strength to hang on for silver and there was a shock bronze medal for Gintare Venckauskaite of Lithuania, who had started the Laser-Run in 24th place but surged through the field to reach the podium ahead of 4th-placed Natalya Coyle of Ireland.
Esposito's victory came on the back of her comeback success at Pentathlon World Cup Kecskemet in Hungary in May, and the 26-year-old from Sydney was thrilled with her performance.
"My fencing performance was the best I've ever had in my life so I was really happy with that, and then I equalled my personal best in swimming," said Esposito.
"In the riding I was so happy to have a clear round and then I went into Laser-Run in 2nd place, which is strange for me because I usually start further back. I was a little worried I wouldn't handle the shooting pressure but everything went well.
"When I'm in competition I only focus on myself and not the people around me, and that's what I did in Rio. Sarolta is a good friend and a very good competitor so I knew it was going to be tough today. But if someone is in front of me, I just try to chase them down."
Kovacs, 27, said: "It was a hard competition but the key for me was fencing. Swimming is my favourite event and I had a good result, and in the riding I only had one knockdown.
"I started Laser-Run in first position and I knew Chloe was there, but I felt in good shape for the first three laps. At the fourth shoot I gave away a lot of time, but I'm so happy with my second place."
Venckauskaite, 25, added: "My Fencing was very bad, but I said I would do my best and in the end it was a very good day for me."
The Men's Final follows tomorrow (June 23) before the Mixed Relay on Sunday (June 24).
SOURCE Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM)