Moiseyev bids for Modern Pentathlon history

Updated: Friday, 06 Jul 2012 10:10

Russia's Andrey Moiseyev will bid to make history at the London Olympics by becoming the first man to win three consecutive gold medals in Modern Pentathlon.

Modern Pentathlon - which challenges athletes to complete five different sports in a single day - will mark 100 years as an Olympic sport this year

Created by movement founder Pierre de Coubertin the sport first appeared at the Stockholm 1912 Games, while the women's competition made its debut at Sydney 2000.

De Coubertin's brainchild - athletes compete in shooting, fencing, swimming, showjumping and running - was to find the ultimate, all-round competitor.

Russia are the dominant team and have won the last three Olympic men's titles with Dmitri Svatkovskiy winning individual gold in Sydney followed by Moiseyev's back-to-back titles in Athens and Beijing.

And this year Russia were spoilt for choice for the London Games before world number one Aleksander Lesun was selected alongside number two ranked Moiseyev, the 2011 world champion.

"We have a very strong squad. I heard our men's team is being compared with the Barcelona football team. So it's hard to compete with us and, inside the team, competition is high," said Moiseyev after taking silver behind Lesun at the world championships in Rome in May with South Korea's Jung Jin-Hwa taking bronze.

Italy are among their challengers however after winning the world team title ahead of the Russians and South Korea.

In the women's event, Russia will be represented by 2010 World Cup champion Ekaterina Khuraskina and former European champion Evdokia Gretchichnikova.

Britain could however claim women's gold with world champion Mhairi Spence leading the hosts' bid, along with Samantha Murray, who won world bronze in Rome.

Britain also won the women's world team event ahead of Hungary and China.

Britain's men will be represented by world number five Nick Woodbridge and European silver medallist Sam Weale.

"I have every confidence they will deliver inspirational performances," Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said.

"British modern pentathletes have an excellent track record in Olympic competition, winning four medals in the last three Games," he said.

Britain's Stephanie Cook won gold when the women's event was first added to the Olympic programme in 2000.

China hopes of winning a first Olympic medal in the sport lie with Qian Chen, their first world champion in 2009 and silver medallist this year. China also won the women's world bronze medal in Rome.

China's Qian Zhenhua was fourth in the men's event in Beijing, while Qian was fifth among the women.

At London 2012, the men's Modern Pentathlon is due to run on Saturday, August 11, with the women's competition taking place the following day.

The competition starts with fencing in the Copper Box followed by a 200m swim in the Aquatics Centre. The athletes then leave the Olympic Park for Greenwich Park, where they will complete a show jumping course on an unfamiliar horse.

The day concludes with the combined event, in which competitors complete a 3km run, including stop-offs at shooting points where they must hit five targets.

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