Saturday, 31 October 2009

2009 Season's Best - Men - Total Points

So here we go with the best of 2009 - as for now, only for the men, women data will come later. I've collected the best scores at World Cup , Senior World Championships and European Senior Championship (the strongest continental competition), only for final rounds.

The competitions are:

World Cup 1 - Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico - March 2009 - WC1
World Cup 2 - Cairo, Egypt - April 2009 - WC2
World Cup 3 - Budapest, Hungary - May 2009 - WC3
World Cup 4 - Roma, Italy - May 2009 - WC4
World Cup Final - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - WCF
Senior World Championships - London, Great Britain - August 2009 - SWC
European Senior Championships - Leipzig, Germany - June 2009 - ESC

Total Points

WC1 - Horbacz (POL) 5948, Soto (MEX) 5892, Marosi (HUN) 5772
WC2 - Polívka (CZE) 6088, Krungolcas (LTU) 5976, Zemaitis (LYU) 5964
WC3 - Cherkovskis (LAT) 6000, Marosi (HUN) 5944, Krungolcas (LTU) 5888
WC4 - Frolov (RUS) and Marosi (HUN) 6060, Patte (FRA) 6008
WCF - Marosi (HUN) 6056, Tymoshchenko (UKR) 5992, Giancamilli (ITA) 5940
SWC - Marosi (HUN) 6136, Svoboda (CZE) 6116, Dmytro Kirpulyanskyy (UKR) 6100
ESC - Polívka (CZE) 6060, Frolov (RUS) 6036, Marosi (HUN) 6032

Other pentathletes with over 6000 points in the season:
SWC - Németh (HUN) 6076, Daniel (AUT) 6048, Kinderis (LTU) 6028, Motsios (GRE) 6020, Krungolcas (LTU) 6012
ESC - Walther (GER) 6012, Kinderis (LTU) 6004

Top 10 - 2009
1 - Marosi (HUN) 6136 (SWC London)
2 - Svoboda (CZE) 6116 (SWC London)
3 - Dmytro Kirpulyanskyy (UKR) 6100 (SWC London)
4 - Polívka (CZE) 6088 (WC2 Cairo)
5 - Németh (HUN) 6076 (SWC London)
6 - Polívka (CZE) 6060 (ESC Leipzig), Frolov (RUS) and Marosi (HUN) 6060 (WC4 Roma)
9- Marosi (HUN) 6056 (WCF Rio de Janeiro)
10- Daniel (AUT) 6048 (SWC London)

Marosi appears 3 times in the list, Polívka is twice in the list. Frolov, who is in the list, also has the 11th best total points. The Senior World Championships was a really tough competition, with 8 pentathletes over 6000 points, the European Championships had 5 athletes >6K and WC4 (Rome) was the only World Cup event with a podium of athletes >6K.

World and Olympic records, season best and others stats - or not

It's not easy to find data about the records (I know it might be somewhere, but my search efforts were useless until now and UIPM database needs an update - you can find at results-NB Rankings - search in display). Of course the several changes in the sport through the years (length of swimming, running and riding course, the new formats - one-day and combined event- new equipments for shooting and fencing, swimsuit, etc) make it even more difficult, with several records for the competitions (we have what we can call historical records since no longer it's made in the same way). Fencing depends too much on the field (quality of opponents) and number of duels (24, 32, 36 draw size), riding is up to 1200 points flawless riding and is also affected by the course and the luck in the draw of the horses. Even running has a "world best" instead of "record" since the track is not the same in all competitions. OK, I promise I won't say the outdoor performances are affected by the weather and altitude, oh, I've just did it, haha.

I've compiled some info about best performances, but there is still a lot to do. I'd like to have the historic records of 300m swimming and 4000m running, and also for shooting and running 3km that now were replaced by the combined event. I'm working on 2009 season best performances (only World Cup finals and World Championships) that I hope be publishing within a week, with the top5 or top10 performances of the year for fencing, swimming, riding, combined event and total points. Hey, the combined event season best list will show the world record.

Some interesting stats/facts I've collected so far (before 2009 season), mostly about the Olympic records smashed in Beijing 2008:

Shooting: David Svoboda (CZE) is the Olympic record holder (191), followed by Zenhua Qian (CHN) - 189 - Michal Michalík (CZE) - 188 - and Viktor Horváth (HUN) -187 - all this scores in Beijing 2008. The former record holders were from Belarus, Pavel Dougal (Sydney 2000) and Dmitri Meliakh (Athina 2004) - 187, equalled by Horváth. The world record belongs to Denis Turov, from Kazakhstan (195 points, Open Winter Kazakhstan Champ., February 2007). Akos Kallai (HUN) has the second best score in shooting, 194 points, followed by For the women, the world ranking belongs to Hannah Arkhipenko (BLR) with 194 (1264 points) in Senior World Championships 2008 (Budapest, May), followed byAnastasia Samusevich (BLR) and Manuela Landi (ITA) with 191 points; in Olympics, Berlinda Schreiber (SUI) was the best shooter in Beijing (188), close to Olympic record set in Athina 2004 (Lean Dong, from China, with 189).

Fencing: Beijing 2008 saw Andrei Moiseev (RUS), the gold medalist, and Zenhua Qian (CHN) both scoring 1024 points (26/35). Previously it was a record shared by Moiseev, Cornel Vena (ROU) and Olivier Clergeau (FRA) of 1000 points for a 22/31 record. Lena Schöneborn (GER), another Beijing gold medalist, set a new OR too (1072 points for 28/35). Elena Rublevska (LAT) is another good fencer, with 27/35 (Beijing) and 23/31 (Athina). The world record for women is of Brazilian Yane Marques, 24w/2d in Panamerican Games 2007 (not a much competitive field though, despite the impressive record), the UIPM database for men fencing has something wrong since more than 30 first best records are of the same competition (World Cup 3 2006 Berlin).

Swimming: Amro El Geziry (EGY) and Sheila Taormina (USA) have the best time, holding both records (World and Olympic). Taormina is a former pro swimmer who also competed in triathlon before joining the modern pentathlon circuit. Nicolas Woodbridge (GBR) and Amélie Cazé (FRA) have great times too, coming close to the leaders.

Riding: well, it's up to 1200 points, not much to tell about. Since it's also a recap of last Olympic Games, the best riders were Michal Michalík (CZE) with 1172 points and Andrejus Zadneprovskis (LTU) with 1168 points in a hard and wet course that spoiled the chances of medal of some athletes like Svoboda. In the day after, some small changes for the women and Qian Chen (CHN), Laura Asadauskaite (LTU) and Sheila Taormina (USA) scored a perfect 1200 points.

Running: Dong-Hon Nam (KOR) set a new Olympic record of 8:55.97 in Beijing . The women's record is of Stephanie Cook (GBR) set in Sydney 2000, 1306 points that helped her to clinch the title. Anastasia Samusevich (BLR) had the best time in Beijing 2008, 10:04.46 - finished the competition in fourth place, missing a medal. World best time belongs to Pernille Svarre (DEN), with 9:36 (Malmö, 1999)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Juniors' Roll of Honour/Hall of Fame and the transition to the senior level.

The transition from junior to senior level is an issue in every sport. In tennis we can see it can be a difficult transition - even though the top pro players usually had a great junior record, but then many top juniors can't make it at pro level. Same goes to football, if you consider the national teams U-17, U-20 and, years later, in the main team you will see few players still there. Of course several aspects are involved. The peak age of a sport (if there's such one), the size of the circuit (modern pentathlon circuit is much smaller than tennis and football) and, for each individual, personal affairs (sponsors or lack of it, athletes quitting because of other professional activities, especially after uni, injuries, etc).

I've compiled the podium of Junior World Championships from the last 10 years - from 1999 to 2004 I could only find for boys in odd years and for girls in even years at UIPM website, they have the semifinal results for most of them though, only missing the final. Sure the junior world year-end ranking could give a more accurate idea of each season by having more competitions, but it was easier to compile the WJC standings.

Junior World Championships Top 3 by year

1999 - Chieti, Italy
1 - Jae-Kun Choi (KOR)
2 - Martin Dvořák (CZE)
3 - Aleksei Turkin (RUS)

2000 - Sofia, Bulgaria
1 - Tatiana Mouratova (RUS)
2 - Olessia Velitchko (RUS)
3 - Dominika Grodzicka (POL)

2001 - Budapest, Hungary
1 - Michal Michalík (CZE)
2 - Steffen Gebhardt (GER)
3 - Alexei Savikov (RUS)

2002 - Sydney, Australia
1 - Olessia Velitchko (RUS)
2 - Omnia Fakhry (EGY)
3 - Evdokia Gretchichnikova (RUS)

2003 - Athina, Greece
1 - Mihail Prokopenko (BLR)
2 - Ilia Frolov (RUS)
3 - Cedric Pla (FRA)

2004 - Székesfehérvár, Hungary
1 - Sergei Shovin (RUS)
2 - Ádám Marosi (HUN)
3 - Dmytro Kirpulyanskyy (UKR)

2005 - Moskva, Russia
1 - Ádám Marosi (HUN)
2 - Jean-Maxence Berrou (FRA)
3 - Da Wen (CHN)
1 - Lena Schöneborn (GER)
2 - Aya Medany (EGY)
3 - Mhairi Spence (GBR)

2006 - Shanghai, China
1 - David Svoboda (CZE)
2 - Peter Tibolya (HUN)
3 - Mena Tadros (EGY)
1 - Aya Medany (EGY)
2 - Mhairi Spence (GBR)
3 - Amélie Cazé (FRA)

2007 - Caldas da Rainha, Portugal
1 - Ondřej Polívka (CZE)
2 - Maxim Aldochkine (RUS)
3 - Serguei Karyakin (RUS)
1 - Adrien Tóth (HUN)
2 - Tatsiana Klimovich (BLR)
3 - Lena Schöneborn (GER)

2008 - Cairo, Egypt
1 - Serguei Karyakin (RUS)
2 - Pierpaolo Petroni (ITA)
3 - Dmitrios Motsios (GRE)

1 - Aya Medany (EGY)
2 - Krisztina Cseh (HUN)
3 - Sarolta Kovács (HUN)

2009 - Kaoshiung, Chinese Taipei
1 - Jihun Ahn (KOR)
2 - Jinhwa Jung (KOR)
3 - Serguei Karyakin (RUS)
1 - Aya Medany (EGY)
2 - Svetlana Lebedeva (RUS)
3 - Margaux Isaksen (USA)

David Svoboda (CZE), Ádám Marosi (HUN) and Dmytro Kirpulyanskyy (UKR), the young podium at 2009 World Senior Championships (London, UK)

Ondřej Polívka, Michal Michalík, David Svoboda [CZE]; Ádám Marosi, Péter Tibolya, Róbert Németh [HUN]; Justinas Kinderis, Edvinas Krungolcas and Andrejus Zadneprovskis [LTU] - podium of London Senior World Championships 2009 - men's team

Aya Medany (EGY), Amélie Cazé (FRA) and Katy Livingston (GBR) - podium at World Senior Championship 2008 (Budapest, Hungary)

We can see that most of the top juniors became top senior athletes, with few exceptions. If it's not that surprising since it have few competitors, in the other hand it shows many of them are already successful in first years as seniors - some even have good results while already as junior (under 22 years old) - and we can't say that a veteran or a mature athlete has an advantage, since some skills are supposed to improve with the years, like fencing, shooting and equestrian, while others can be expected to have a decrease in performance (I would say especially swimming, since we can see in running, for this distance of 3km, many veterans mastering).

We can see also athletes with several podiums (Medani's record is really impressive and Karyakin is one to watch), that's interesting since it's a sport hard to have regularity and consistency - in the other hand, the best pentathletes usually have more consistency than the others. An interesting question is if can the younger athletes take advantage of the changes in the sport's format - can they adapt better and faster or do the veterans also have such an experience that help them too?

It's known that many of the athletes were originally from one of the five disciplines and later moved to modern pentathlon, swimming being the main source of athletes as far as I know.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Calendar - the tour in next years

Let's have a loook at next years' calendar, from what is already scheduled (remember: dates and even venues are subject to change). Please check the link at the bottom of the post (update).

World Cup Series

WC1 - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - March 04-07 (originally was Guadalajara)
WC2 - Cairo, Egypt - March 18-21
WC3 - Medway, Great britain - April 08-11
WC4 - Hungary (city to be announced/confirmed) - May 06-09
WC5 - Berlin, Germany - June 03-06
World Cup Final - Moskva, Russia - June 18

WC1 - To be announced - February 24-27
WC2 - Guadalajara, Mexico - March 03-06
WC3 - Cairo, Egypt - March 24-27
WC4 - Roma, Italy - April 14-17
WC5 - Hungary (city to be announced/confirmed) - May 05-08
World Cup Final - London, Great Britain - July 09-10

WC1 - Mexico (city to be announced) - February 16-19
WC2 - To be announced
WC3 - Cairo, Egypt - March 15-18
WC4 - Hungary (city to be announced) - April 12-15
WC5 - To be announced
World Cup Final - to be announced

WC1 - To be announced
WC2 - Cairo, Egypt - March 14-17
WC3 - Great Britain (city and dates to be announced)
WC4 - To be announced
WC5 - Budapest, Hungary - May 16-19
World Cup Final - To be announced

Senior World Championships

2010 - Chengdu, China - September 01-07
2011 - Cairo, Egypt - September 06-14
2012 - Milano, Italy - May 22-30
2013 - Kaoshiung, Chinese Taipei - August 27 - September 04


Youth Olympic Games (2010) - Singapore, Singapore - August 14-26

Junior World Championships
2010 - Budapest, Hungary - August 03-08
2011 - Cairo, Egypt - June 19-24
2012 - Drzonków, Poland - August 21-26

Youth A World Championships
2011 - Istanbul, Turkey - August 18-21
2012 - Budapest, Hungary - September 20-23

Military Pentathlon

World Military MP Championships - Praha, Czech Republic - July 07-12

CISM Military World Games - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - July 16-24

Others (mainly continental)

Central American and Caribbean Games - Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala - July 22-24
Panamerican Championships - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - November 19-21
XVI Asian Games - Guangzhou, China - November 12-27

Champion of Champions - venue to be announced - September 23-25
Panamerican games - Guadalajara, Mexico - October 20-21

Source: UIPM results section, 2009 UIPM congress press release.

EDIT: last/newest changes and updates:

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Geopolitics of the sport - some thoughts

Just some first thoughts about geopolitics of modern pentathlon. For those who follow the tour, it's not new that the Eastern European countries dominate the tour. Other European countries, like Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy also have great teams. I'd like to know what happened to the nordic/Scandinavian countries, which used to be dominant in the first half of modern pentathlon history and nowadays have just a small role in the circuit. I'm also curious how such a militarized country like Israel doesn't have any top athlete, considering the strong link the sport has with the army; I guess it's not a priority of Israeli army. On a side (and sad) note, I remember reading at UIPM newsletter the president of the Palestinian federation was killed during the last conflict in Gaza territory.
It's great that countries outside Europe are improving in the sport - special mention to Egypt, Mexico, China and South Korea. We could add to the list also United States, Japan, Canada and Brazil and basically we have all the non-European countries with competitive athletes at the present time (sorry if I'm missing any country). It's very important for the sport to grow worlwide and I think it's trailing the right way.
Since we are talking about the teams, it would be great if we have the relay and team competitions in the Olympics, and it's not just about giving more medals, like a consolation, I think the format is interesting for the public and yes, the sport deserves more medals. They used to have the team competition in Olympic Games.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

What is lacking in competition results info?

I'd like to be an unemployed millionaire to follow the whole circuit. Well, if I were one, I probably wouldn't follow the whole circuit - surely some other interesting things would appear in same dates(but I'd sponsor the circuit, since the prize money is still poor, lol, in the other hand I'm glad there are serious sponsors that maintain the sport). Modern pentathlon results breakdown aren't already easy to make or even to understand, and kudos to UIPM and their staff that do a great job. Maybe it's only me, and my academic formation, but I'd like to have more info about the competitions, especially the main competitions (World Championship, World Cups, Continental Championships and others with more points for the New Balance World Ranking). Since it's so easy to complain and purpose, I'm doing it.

The venue: more info about the venue. Introduction (history), maps, weather conditions at the days of competition.

Fencing: it would be a freak table, but why not having the full results, and not only W-D (win - defeat)? I'd like to know if the best in fencing won against the second best or if he lost to someone classified worst than 20th in fencing, and when it happened (first duel, nineteenth duel?), how many defeats were defeats or tie/level. How many pistes and which duels were in each one too. Yes, I know it's crazy.

Swimming: I would like to know the start lists of the heats, and its lanes and standings. Also the type (indoor or outdoor, size of the pool) and penalty points for false start.

Equestrian: I'd appreciate to have the start lists (that show the current standings) and the draws (athlete-horse). The penalty points also could be displayed (time, faults) and the course/track too (info about size and surface).

Combined event: Start list again (current standings) and how it went (after shooting and arrival at the shooting range every "round").

Many of this info can be found at UIPM website in invitations section, but it's info pre-tie, it would be cool to have it with results.

The athlete info also could be improved, with more and updated info (like season best points, best ranking and date, etc).

Of course I know how difficult would be to have all this info compiled and make it available. It depends on so many people, especially local organizers and it's interesting for the sport to have less requirements in order to attract more events, but I think it can be partially/mostly accomplished in long term. Since I expect an increase in the sport's popularity, this changes would naturally come. I'm used to more popular sports (specifically tennis) that have a much bigger structure and then have not only more info, but also some lack of it in the detail I claim in this post.

The standings after each event and start lists are very desirable, like they have for decathlon in athletics. I guess some graphics showing the progression through the competition and for each event also would be great.

A dynamic sport - changes and improvements

I'm probably missing something, info and dates are not that accurate, sorry - I'd like to have checked more sources - but here we go with some fresh and old news. Since the sport was founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin and introduced in the 1912 Olympic Games (Stockholm, Sweden) some changes happened to the sport and the most notable are:

1949: introduction of World Championship - sure a great achievement, as result and encouragement of the growth of the sport.

1990: introduction of World Cup Series - like the World Championship, another great achievement for the sport.

1996: introduction of one-day format (?) at least in Olympic Games - to make it more friendly to media coverage, also a discouragement to doping since a performance enhancing substance for shooting has the opposite effect in fencing, for example. It was really a challenge for the pentathletes since all events in one day makes the competition tougher and exhausting. I didn't research enough about the order of the disciplines and honestly can't say how many days it used to last, but in 1992 Olympics (Barcelona, Spain) it lasted 4 days and the order was:
day 1-fencing;
day 2- swimming and shooting;
day 3 - running;
day 4- equestrian.

It was different from what we were used to see in last years (shooting - fencing - swimming - equestrian - running) before the introduction of the combined event in 2009. This change of the order, comparing the 1992 event with the 2008 Olympic event (Beijing, China) - this lazy blogger didn't bother searching when it happened- brought more appeal to the sport, with the handicap start and the definition not only by points, but also in the finish line. A bit frustrating for someone who is cheering on a pentathlete wich best skill is not the running, haha. By the way, do they have photo finish for the pentathlon events? I guess yes, they have, but I can't confirm.
Not only the order has changed, they had to change the length of swimming and running, that used to be 300m and 4km to 200m and 3km. I also found info that riding used to be up to 1100 points (with bigger course), shooting also had changes, since in Montreal Olympics there was a score of 198 and now the Olympic record is 191 of David Svoboda (CZE) in Beijing 2008, so changes in the points system also happened in modern pentathlon history.

2000: it's hard to pick a catch phrase from the feminist movement since there are so many, so I'll go with a contemporary one which is not my favourites: girl power! Women's competition was introduced in Olympic Games at 2000 Olympics (Sydney, Australia). I couldn't find since when there are official competitions for women - not only because I'm lazy this time, but mostly because it's hard to find this info and/or I was unlucky in my search - so let's have 2000 as the year women's competition was introduced (when actually it was first time in Olympic Games). I can say in my defense the database of UIPM go back only until 1999. Anyway, not that surprising it lasted so much since it's a sport very linked to militarism, but instead of criticizing it, I prefer to celebrate this late conquer. A necessary change to the sport, no doubt.

Laura Asadauskaitė (LTU). Picture from

2009: introduction of the combined event - a sport that don't have enough recognition - in my [s]biased[/s] personal view - keep changing to attract more viewers, and the combined event (shooting + running) was introduced with this purpose. Shooting used to be the first event, indoors, while running was the last event. It's a big change! The athletes are tired, the shooting is outdoors... it's interesting two of the top pentathletes this year, Ádám Marosi (HUN) and David Svoboda (CZE), wear glasses. Of course athletes were reluctant about this change, especially when it seemed to reduce their chances, but it seems there is a consensus this change again helped the sport in making it more interesting for viewers, and also it seems the performance/results were not that affected by the new format.

2010/2011: laser pistol replacing air pistol - the last UIPM Congress (Kopenhagen, Denmark) approved this change, to be tested in 2010 and then probably introduced in 2011. The reasons are environmental (less damage to the environment) and to suit better the new format after the combined event (outdoor range shooting). As I've never fired a gun, I can't really say much about this, I hope athletes can adapt well to the new guns and that it won't affect too much the shooting specialists. That's it. Please correct me if necessary.

Friday, 16 October 2009

London 2012 Olympic Pictograms

Pictograms of London 2012 Olympic Games were released. They presented two formats for each sport - a silhouette and a dynamic coloured version. I liked them, pentathlon has the biggest one of all sports by representing the five disciplines, they are not in the order of the events but I'm sure they considered this option and I guess the result was not as good as the actual pictogram.

You can check them at:

From the past we have:

Beijing 2008:

and others at the Olympic museum website:


I've been following the sport for some years and now I would like to give a small contribution. I hope I manage to keep this blog alive with updates and news. Of course the best source of info is the website of UIPM ( which has improved a lot in last months with new layout and sections. Hopefully this blog will have a decent amount of posts before the beginning of next season and will be active during 2010 season.