Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe will have to wait a little longer to secure his place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after finishing 25th in the men’s final at the European Modern Pentathlon Championships in Bath, England.
The 2015 European champion performed well in Thursday’s qualification round but his best form eluded him in today’s fencing, riding and Laser Run events, leaving him well short of the eight Olympic qualifying places on offer.
Fifteen of the 36 participants in the men’s pentathlon in Tokyo have now been confirmed, with 21 berths still vacant. Lanigan O’Keeffe’s next opportunity will be the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Championships in September in Budapest, where three more places will be at stake.
The London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympian was third-fastest in swimming, timing 2min 01.49sec for his 200m freestyle. But fencing was something of an ordeal for the 27-year-old, who managed just 16 victories in his 35 bouts against a world-class field, and one additional point in the bonus round.
The Kilkenny man often bolsters his score in the riding arena, but the 43 penalty points he conceded after a lengthy delay caused by high winds at the University of Bath confirmed that this wasn’t going to be his day.
He went into the decisive Laser Run in 19th place and, in the final analysis, finishing 11th overall would have been enough to realise his Tokyo dream. In the event a modest time of 11:35.26 saw Lanigan-O’Keeffe drop six places.
Two of his team-mates, Natalya Coyle and Sive Brassil, take part in the women’s final tomorrow (August 9) with eight places in the women’s pentathlon at Tokyo 2020 at stake.