Sunday 18 August 2019

Irish silver lining in Japan

Natalya Coyle
Natalya Coyle

Independent.ie Sportdesk

Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe secured a silver medal for Ireland at the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Cup Final in Tokyo yesterday.

A record four Irish athletes - Sive Brassil and Eilidh Prise being the other two - had qualified for the event, however despite some personal bests in the opening disciplines only Lanigan-O'Keeffe and Coyle were in with a medal chance heading into the mixed relay.

Up against two superstars in France's Elodie Clouvel and Valentin Prades, the Irish duo kept the leaders company throughout, earning the right to start the laser run in second place with a 15-second handicap.

After an early tussle for position, Coyle eventually built a strong enough platform for her 27-year-old teammate to challenge and secure silver. Prise was Ireland's highest finisher overall, at 29th.

"It was a really tough finish. We didn't have the individual competitions we would have liked after the Riding, so it's really nice to cap it off with a silver medal," said 28-year-old Coyle. Lanigan-O'Keefe put the silver down to "a bit of determination and a bit of anger".

The quartet will now look ahead to the European Championships in Bath in August with 16 places at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo up for grabs.

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