Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe finished in 20th place in a highly competitive field at the Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Gillingham today.

With the top eight ranked athletes gaining automatic qualification for the London 2012 Olympic, the stakes were high for the Europe’s best pentathletes. Lanigan-O’Keeffe performed superbly throughout the day, culminating with a 30-second personal best in the run/shoot event.

The Kilkenny native, who was the youngest athlete in the final, started the day with a controlled display in the fencing hall. His total of 15 victories and 20 defeats gave him 760 pentathlon points and placed him in 26th position.

Good showings in the pool, where he was 10th fastest, and the ride moved him up to 13th position.

In the combined event the 20-year-old was 1:13 behind the competition leader and double Olympic Champion, Andrei Moiseev from Russia and only 25 seconds off eight place (Olympic qualification).

An impressive final shoot series saw the penathlete hit all five targets in 17 seconds and crossed the line in 20th place.

Lanigan-O’Keeffe's combined time of 10:35 was 30 seconds quicker than his previous best time and an enormous improvement in both his running and swimming performances.