Irish pentathlete Arthur Lanigan-O’Keefe has announced that he will miss the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a hip injury
Lanigan-O’Keefe has represented Ireland at the Olympics in London 2012 and in Rio 2016. He finished 8th overall at his last Games.
The Kilkenny man will be replaced in Tokyo by Mexican athlete, Alvaro Sandoval Aguilar.
The injury forced Lanigan-O’Keefe out of the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Cup final in Hungary last month. The 29-year-old is still young and could recover and improve to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
The athlete made a statement on Instagram about missing out on his third Olympics in a row:
“What was on the last two occasions a euphoric moment was however bittersweet this time around. My injury to my hip is too much to overcome and I have decided that the honorable thing to do would be to pass my place onto another athlete who was fit to compete at the highest level.
“This is not a decision I have taken lightly and it’s been one of the most painful things for me to do having fought soo hard to get here.
“@alvaro_sandoval_aguilar you are the better man for the job. You now not only represent Mexico but also Ireland and we will be cheering for you, best of luck my friend!
So sad about the bad news related to a hip problem of our pentathlete Arthur Lanigan O'Keefe 🇮🇪.
Despite this injury ruled him out from last weekend's World Championships, he is QUALIFIED for #Tokyo2020 with the last ranking quota. Very disappointing if he has to decline it. pic.twitter.com/dYSvq3ss80
— IrishSportPower (@IrishSportPower) June 15, 2021
What is the Modern Pentathlon?
At the Olympics, the modern pentathlon is one of the original sports and consists of five events. All athletes must compete in fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping and the last event of pistol shooting, and a 3200m cross-country race.
Lanigan-O’Keefe’s fiancée, Natalya Coyle will now be Ireland’s only athlete competing in the modern pentathlon.
The Meath athlete is also going to her third Olympics. She is in good form after finishing fifth in the UIPM Pentathlon World Cup Final this month.
For more stories about Arthur Lanigan-O’Keefe, check out this article here: