Frolov, Schoneborn win at World Cup pentathlon
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)
Russia's Ilya Frolov and Lena Schoneborn of Germany won gold at the World Cup modern pentathlon at Charlotte's Memorial Stadium, solidifying their spots in the upcoming London Games.
Frolov had a dominating shooting performance to win gold at the first of the five World Cup events prior to the London Olympics, finishing ahead of silver medalist Pavlo Tymoschenko of the Ukraine. Russia also claimed third place behind a strong finish by Alexander Lesun, who took bronze.
Frolov, the 2008 world champion, shot flawlessly and never looked as though he was ready to let the gold medal leave his grasp during the combined event.
Frolov started the day in vintage form, finishing third in fencing behind Belarusian Mihail Prokopenko. The Russian followed it up with a 17th place finish in the swim, but it was his near flawless ride worth 1,180 points which put him in a commanding position ahead of the combined event.
Ranked ninth in the world, he didn't miss a shot to easily win his first World Cup event since the fifth event of 2010.
''In the preseason, I worked a lot on my shooting more than the other four disciplines as it let me down last year, so I am very happy to shoot so well,'' Frolov said.
Tymoschenko, who came very close to defending his title from last year, said ''I shot very well today, I tried to shoot more precise than quick, which worked well. I am glad to start the year in good form, but I want to keep this up for the entire season, as I dropped off last year.''
The Ukrainian, who has not yet qualified for the Olympics, was confident of earning a trip to London.
''These points today means I have two good competitions, so I think I will be there in Greenwich Park,'' Tymoschenko said
Lesun continued his gold medal drought, but was content with his bronze medal.
''I did not fence very well today, so I was continually playing catch up,'' Lesun said. ''When I rode a perfect round, I knew I would be in a chance of moving up in the combined event. I was very shocked of how well I shot which is a very good sign for the rest of the season. Bronze is great for me.''
In the women's competition, Schoneborn fought off stiff competition from Great Britain's Mhairi Spence, who took silver, and Belarus' Anastaysia Prokopenko broke the world shooting record to come from 18th place and win bronze.
Schoneborn, the Olympic Champion who ranks first in the world, is making winning World Cup events a habit.
''I am very relieved that I got through the first competition of the year,'' Schoneborn said. ''I love coming to the USA, so I am excited to win this medal in front of the American crowd. I had a hard winter training in Colorado Springs which certainly helped.
''Winning the fence set me up great for the rest of the day and I rode that momentum. Mhairi pushed me hard in the run, my quick last shoot made all the difference.''
Prokopenko broke two world records on her way to the bronze medal. The mother of one had her final five shots in 9.3 seconds to break the single shoot world record and got her 15 shots in a staggering 30.4 seconds to be the fastest Pentathlon shooter - male or female - in the world.
''I can't believe I shot that fast,'' Prokopenko said. ''At the start of the combined event I thought I had no chance, I was very relaxed and just shot and ran and thankfully it worked.''
The second World Cup event of the season begins Thursday in Rio de Janeiro.