Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Pentathletes from the past: Rest in peace, Pavel Lednev

UIPM website brought today the sad news that modern pentathlon legend Pavel Lednev passed away, at the age of 67. Pavel Serafimovich Lednev (or Lednyov, in Russian Павел Серафимович Леднëв) settled two Olympic records during his successful career: the Russian was the pentathlete with most medals won (7) and the oldest pentathlete to win a medal (at the age of 37, in Moscow 1980 Games). After the years of Andras Balczó (HUN) dominance, it was Lednev the most successful pentathlete in the 70's and through his career Lednev faced not only Balczó, but also Janusz Peciak (POL), Björn Ferm (SWE), Daniele Masala (ITA) and his teammates Igor Novikov, Boris Onyschenko and Vladimir Zhmelev. 

In Olympic Games, Lednev collected in individual events one silver (Montréal 1976, finishing behind Janusz Peciak) and three bronze medals (Mexico 1968, Munich 1972 and Moscow 1980); in team events, he was part of the winner teams of Munich 1972 and Moscow 1980) and won the silver in Mexico 1968. The Soviet team was disqualified in 1976 Montréal Games when they were favourites. In World Championships, Lednev took the individual title four times, in three straight years (1973-1975) and in 1978. In 1977, again Janusz Peciak finished ahead of Lednev in World Championships and the Russian finished in second position. Still in World Championships, Lednev was twice part of the Soviet winner team (1972 and 1973) - also collected one silver and two bronzes in team competitions. 

Lednev, as a great pentathlete, was an all-around performer, being a good swimmer, rider and runner and a master at fencing and shooting. 

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