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Moiseev takes back-to-back title of modern pentathlon

Source: Xinhua | 08-21-2008 22:50

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Andrei Moiseev of Russia successfully defended the modern pentathlon title and became the second athlete to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the sport here on Thursday.

Andrey Moiseev of Russia celebrates after winning the gold medal of the men's modern pentathlon of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing,China,Aug.21,2008
Andrey Moiseev of Russia celebrates after winning
 the gold medal of the men's modern pentathlon of
 the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing,China,

The feat of successive Olympic titles was only achieved by Sweden's Lars Hall in 1952 and 1956 before the Beijing Games.

Moiseev scored 5,632 points, overtaking the previous highest of 5,566 total achieved since the current scoring system was introduced in 1956.

"I knew I performed very well, but I did not think I would get the gold medal before the Olympics started. The crowd and the atmosphere in Beijing was amazing," said the 29-year-old Russian.

Edvinas Krungolcas of Lithuania was second in 5,548 points, while his teammate Andrejus Zadneprovskis was third 24 points further adrift.

"Shooting is not my favourite, but I tried with every shot. (A score of) 182 is good," said Zadneprovskis.

"In the fencing, I lost nine out of 10, but everything here is (about the horse) riding.

Andrey Moiseev (#1) of Russia sets off during the men's running 3000m match of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games modern pentathlon event in Beijing, China, Aug. 21, 2008. Andrey Moiseev won the gold medal of the event.(Xinhua Photo)
Andrey Moiseev (#1) of Russia sets off during the men's running
 3000m match of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games modern pentathlon
 event in Beijing, China, Aug. 21, 2008. Andrey Moiseev won the
 gold medal of the event.(Xinhua Photo)

"Running is my favourite. It has always been like this," said the bronze medallist, who upgraded the sixth place to third from running.

Moiseev, 29, who stands a towering 1.95m, won the European championships this year and has been in fine form in recent months.

China's Qian Zhenhua took a surprise lead after finishing second in shooting and joint first in fencing, but withered to second place after swimming and retained the place after horse jumping.

Qian was plunged to fourth in the decisive 3,000m run, and narrowly missed the podium by 8 points or two seconds of sprint.

Krungolcas finished fourth after four events and was 14 seconds later to start the final run, but the Lithuanian easily outran Qian to take home silver.

Zadneprovskis also caught up the Chinese weak runner in the last sprint to pull off another medal for Lithuania.

In shooting, both Czech David Svoboda and Chinese Qian broke the Olympic record in a score of 191 and 189 apiece.

Amro El Geziry of Egypt set record for modern pentathlon swimming but Moiseev took overall lead after three disciplines and never gave that away.

El Geziry finished the 200m freestyle in 1 minute 55.86 seconds, smashing the previous record of 1:58.88 set by Moiseev at the Athens Games. El Geziry is in 32nd place overall.

Coming 17th in swimming, Svoboda was equal second overall, 24 point behind the provisional leader Moiseev, but the fatal mistakes on horse jumping cost him a medal chance.

On finishing 11th after ranking second over first three disciplines, Svoboda said: "before the competition I was hoping for a gold medal, and I thought the first three disciplines were really fantastic. "

"I got my personal best result in shooting, and I kept the lead position until the end of the third discipline. But you can go up and down in modern pentathlon, so I can't get too disappointed about it."

"I am a very young athlete and I know that I can perform, but I did not show it this time. I am hoping for better luck next time I compete; probably I will have to wait for another four years to give a better performance," added the 23-year-old.

"It (horse jumping) is not the horse's problem; she got injured and she was bleeding."

The final point of 5,632 also put him in the historic annals of modern pantathlon as an Olympic milestone event.

The horse jumping was the most challenging descipline of the day with a couple of pentathletes dropping off.


Editor:Si Qintu