Natalya Coyle, an Olympic Council scholarship athlete, finished a creditable 30th in the senior Modern Pentathlon European Championships today.
In a highly competitive field, where eight athletes claimed qualification places for the 2012 Olympic Games, the young Irish athlete showed good composure and determination.
Natalya began in fencing where she scored 10 victories and 25defeats for 680 pentathlon points. Despite an improvement in her fencing form from the semi final, the hits didn't land and Natalya was disappointed but realistic about her fencing performance having finished the event in 35th position.
Onto the pool and Natalya was seeded in the outside lane of the third heat. Despite being the slowest seeded athlete in the heat, Natalya paced herself well and posted a decent time of 2:18,61 for 1140 pentathlon points to remain in 35th position.
The ride is conducted in reverse order with the first placed athlete being the last athletes to ride in the competition.
Natalya, placed 35th in the competition, was the second rider into the arena. Natalya produced a lovely show jumping display and was unlucky to roll two poles, giving her 1160 pentathlon points. With other athletes struggling in the riding event, Natalya benefited and moved up to 30th position.
Natalya started the event in 30th position, 2minutes 11seconds behind the leader but just over a minute off the 8th position so everything to play for. Natalya shot well hitting five from five in her first shoot series. Although Natalya had made up positions on the first shoot, she lost ground on the running event. Solid shooting and tired running saw her position yo yo for the remainder of the combined event and finally crossed the finish line in 30th position.
Natalya, Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe, Eanna Bailey and Performance Director Lindsey Weedon will now have a well earned rest before beginning their preparations for the Senior World Championships which will be held at the beginning of September in Moscow.
We wish the athletes well with their preparations for this and look forward to tracking their progress.