Modern Pentathlon: Coyle’s run ruined by horse

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The Modern pentathlon began its tough gruelling scoring process with swimming, bonus fencing and horse racing

Team Ireland’s Natalya Coyle had put herself in a great position after finishing third the fencing ranking round yesterday. To read more about that challenging 35-bout event, see Team Ireland Pentathlete Natalya Coyle Off To Good Start.

For the modern pentathlon, Tokyo had created a large stadium that could contain all the events. Although there was no crowd but the other athletes and coaches create a small but noisy atmosphere in the place.

This event has a points base system where athlete’s are scored on their attempts in multiple fencing bouts, their times in a swimming race and their points and times in a horse show jumping round.

These scores will decide where the athletes start for the final laser run race.

Women’s Modern Pentathlon

Swimming 200m Freestyle

First up at 06:30 this morning was the 200m swimming heats. This was one of Natalya Coyle’s weaker events but she herself in good standing from the fencing yesterday.

Coyle was swimming in lane five of heat four. Unlike previous years, this competition took place in a 25m pool so the times were slightly faster and new Olympic records were set each heat.

Coyle swam a good race always remaining in the middle of the pack, she showed no sign of slowing and finished in 2:13.88. This earned her 283 points which had her in thirteenth place after the swim.

Russia’s Gulnaz Gubaydullina was the fastest swimmer overall in a time of 2:07.31 and received 296 points.

Fencing Bonus Round

This event took place only 45 minutes after the swimming had finished, giving the athletes little time to prepare. The fencing round is done in a winner stays on style where the lowest ranked from the previous days fencing would start.

After finishing third yesterday, Coyle would face the winners of bout 32 which was Russia’s Uliana Batashova. The Irish woman took to the piste and got the touch to earn her an extra bonus point.

She went more attacking in her next bout against South Korea’s Sehee Kim. Unfortunately the second best fencer picked her off with less than five seconds to go.

Coyle still finished the fencing round with 239 points to add to her total.

Riding Show Jumping

The last round of preliminary events took place a half an hour later. In the show jumping round, athlete’s are given a horse at random with only a few minutes to get to know them.

Coyle drew horse Constantin who previously gave a Uzbekistani competitor trouble. The Irish woman rode very well but had the same problem with the horse on the last few jumps.

After the horse refused three jumps, knocked a fence and went over the allowed 80 seconds, Coyle received 234 points.

To emphasis how this event is the ‘luck of the draw’, the gold medal favourite was forced to retire by her horse, getting 0 points and moved back to 31st place overall.

After the mornings events, Coyle finished in 19th place and will go on to the Laser Run later today.

Tune in to RTE 2 to watch the Women’s Laser Run final at 11:30 this morning. Could Natalya Coyle go one step further than her sixth place finish in Rio?

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com

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