Having qualified for all three Finals in the World Cup competitions so far in 2012, Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe is starting to feel like he belongs in the mix with the top pentathletes in the World. Lanigan-O’Keeffe had a rollercoaster day of competition with highs and lows but the Junior athlete’s final placing of 22nd is an excellent result and should secure his place at the World Cup Final in May.
Lanigan-O’Keeffe began superbly in the fencing hall, loosing to just one athlete in his first five fights. He sustained his performed until two thirds through the competition, having won 15 victories and just 8 defeats. Unfortunately he was unable to keep the momentum for the last third of the competition and his final tally was 18 victories and 15 defeats for 860 pentathlon points and 9th position; a great score for the young Irish athlete in a high quality field but he was left knowing it could have been more.
Onto the pool and Lanigan-O’Keeffe was seeded in the final and fastest heat of athletes. Occupying an outside lane, Lanigan-O’Keeffe swam well and produced a time faster than that of his qualification competition. His time of 1:59.75 was the 9th quickest in the field. The overall leaderboard showed Lanigan-O’Keeffe remained in 9th after two events.
In pentathlon the show jumping phase can often make or break your competition. Unfortunately for Lanigan-O’Keeffe this was his undoing in a round that saw him have a costly five fences down he scored 1100 pentathlon points dropping him down the leader board to 16th position.
Starting the final run/shoot event on a handicap of 55seconds from the leader of the competition, Lanigan-O’Keeffe knew that every place was important in terms of ranking lists. The first shoot series was a dream, five from five in 11 seconds saw Lanigan-O’Keeffe leave the range in 12th position. Strong running and solid shooting on the second lap saw him drop back down the field to 16th position. Spending a little too long on the range for the last shoot series saw him loose ground on several of the athletes around him and there was little position change on the final 1km run lap. Lanigan-O’Keeffe crossed the line in 22nd position.
For a young athlete whom had not made a final at a World Cup competition before 2012, Lanigan-O’Keeffe has finished 20th (Brazil), 22nd (Hungary) and 25th (USA) in extremely high quality fields. Heading to the 4th and last World Cup competition to decide which athletes will qualify for the World Cup Final, Lanigan-O’Keeffe is extremely well placed on the World Cup standings (19th with the top 33 to qualify) and will be confident of improving on mistakes from today’s competition.
Lanigan-O’Keeffe heads to Russia tomorrow with team-mates Eanna Bailey and Natalya Coyle who will both be looking to make it through the qualification rounds after just missing out in Hungary.
Lanigan-O-Keeffe Interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPDI5suGew8&feature=youtube_gdata_player
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