Sharp shooting Lifanov seals modern pentathlon gold
Russia’s Aleksandr Lifanov staged a brilliant comeback on the final day of competition in the men’s individual modern pentathlon to win a memorable gold.
The 18-year-old entered the final event – the combined run and shoot – in fourth place and 16 seconds off the lead. By the end of the first 25 metres of running and first round of shooting, he found himself tied for first place with Gergely Regos (HUN), the leader after fencing and swimming.
Modern pentathlon gold medallist Aleksandr Lifanov
From there, Lifanov closed the gap with a display of sharp shooting and a blistering running pace, looking like the strongest in the field.
However, he admitted afterwards that he had entered the final day of competition somewhat concerned about his performance. After finishing third in the fencing competition, he had placed 16th in the swimming event.
While that poor showing in the pool had soured his mood – and made him question his confidence in the final race – Lifanov was, however, smiling after his victory, despite feeling confused about how he had turned things around.
“I don’t understand it right now. Maybe later? I don’t know,” he said after winning the gold medal, a Russian flag draped around his shoulders.
One thing was clear: the Russian’s shooting was brilliant. In the third frame, he hit five targets in five shots to improve on his lead.
By the time he had missed three shots in the fourth and final frame, his lead was so large it did not matter. He had time to spare and used it to celebrate with his arms aloft over the final 25 metres before he crossed the finishing line.
Regos finished with silver, having won the fencing event and placing 10th in the swim which gave him pole position and a 10-second head start in the run–and-shoot.
Despite losing his first place start, Regos celebrated excitedly after his finish, saying he “can’t believe” he won the silver medal.
Meanwhile, bronze medallist Dovydas Vaivada (LTU) said he was “very, very excited to take third place.”