Just five days since her 18th position finish at World Cup 1 in the USA, Natalya Coyle impressed once again as she eased her was through the qualification competition at World Cup 2 in Rio. Coyle’s swimming and fencing placed her 11th but an assured combined run/shoot performance saw her cross the finish line in 8th position and qualify for Saturday’s final.
Seeded in Group A, Coyle started her competition at the swimming pool. Despite the event being held before 9am, temperatures were already high and finding shade proved difficult. Coyle struggled to replicate the same swim form from World Cup 1 and posted a time of 2.22.33 for 1096 points. Despite her initial disappointment it was clear to see that many of the other athletes were also a second or two down on their previous week’s times and Coyle was ranked 13th overall.
With 26 bouts, each hit was heavily weighted and the fencing event would prove to be the crucial factor in the qualification battle. Coyle produced a dogged display from the off, scoring 8 victories and 5 defeats at the half way stage. A few more experienced fencers got the better of the young Irish athlete in the second half and her final score was 14 victories and 12 defeats earned her 856 pentathlon points and moved her up to 11th position after two events.
Starting 1minute 13 seconds behind the overall event leader, Coyle set about shooting her first series in 12seconds without missing a shot which meant she passed out several athletes to move her into 8th position. Controlled running in the heat and solid second and third shot series were enough to maintain 8th position and see Coyle qualify for her second consecutive final at World Cups in 2012. Coyle, along with 35 other athletes who made the qualification, will now contest the final on Saturday where all the scores are wiped clean and athletes contest fencing, swimming, show jumping and the combined run/shoot event to determine the overall competition winner.
Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe who qualified for his first final at World Cup level last week in the USA will be hoping of a repeat performance in qualification tomorrow (Friday). Lanigan-O’Keeffe will start in Group C and will be looking for a top 12 finish to progress to Sunday’s Final. Eanna Bailey will also represent Ireland and is seeded in Group A. Bailey will need an improved performance after failing to make the cut for the final in the USA.
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