Hungarian Open Indoor Competition Budapest, Hungary 17th – 18th January
2015 Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe finished in an agonising fourth place in the first competition of the 2015. The Irish Olympian was in touching distance of the podium throughout today's competition until the last few steps of the run where he collapsed in sheer exhaustion just before the line.
Lanigan O'Keeffe had a steady start in the fence and then he won 14 from his last 15 hits to bring him up to second place. In the swim his time of 2:00,92 was eight fastest and saw him drop one place to third place overall. Having to change horse at the last minute Arthur kept his composure and only knocked down two rails in the ride, which saw him drop a further place to fourth for the start of the combined run/shoot event.
In a dramatic final event, which saw the field positions change a few times, Lanigan-O’Keeffe managed to occupy a podium position for all but the last few meters of the race. With athletes closing in on him Arthur made a move from 2 laps to go and was in second place. Having been caught with 1 lap to go Arthur dug in to hold third position, but the race proved to be just a few meters too long and in a sprint finish his legs gave way causing him to fall across the line in an agonizing fourth place.
A gutsy performance and once he's dusted off his knees from the fall he'll be able to reflect on a fantastic opening performance for the 2015 season. Solid performances from Eanna Bailey and Tom O’Brien meant they placed 29th and 35th respectively in the season opener. Full results can be viewed here: http://www.cardsys.hu/versenyek/2015indoor/emb4xio.htm
The Irish team will now return to training at the National Pentathlon training centre based at the National Sports Campus to resume preparations for the 2015 season and the start of the Olympic qualification period in June.
2015 Natalya Coyle has started her 2015 season in style winning a bronze medal at the Hungarian Indoor competition. The Irish 2012 Olympian showed great composure to pull herself up from ninth position to third in the final run/shoot event. Coyle began with fencing, scoring 24 victories and 19 defeats for 220 points and 14th place.
A personal best in the 200m swim of 2:16,48 and a clear round in the show jumping meant she kept herself in contention for the podium. An impressive performance in the combined run/shoot event was the fourth fastest and saw her overtake her opponents and win her first international medal. With Olympic qualification beginning later in the year, this is great start to Coyle's Rio campaign.
Promising performances from Irish team mates saw junior athlete Sive Brassil place 14th, Kate Coleman Lenehan 19th, Jenny McGeever 27th and Sally McCarthy 28th The men's competition runs tomorrow with Irish Olympian Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe hoping to re-ignite the form that sure him place 11th at the 2014 World championships. Meanwhile Eanna bailey makes a return to international competition after a long absence with Tom O'Brien completing the Irish trio. The full results from the women’s competition can be viewed here: http://www.cardsys.hu/versenyek/2015indoor/ewa4xio.htm