Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe completed a historic weekend for the sport of modern penathlon in Ireland as he took gold at the world cup event in Bulgaria.

Natalya Coyle became the first ever Irish athlete to win a world cup medal in the women's event on Friday, finishing second, with Lanigan O'Keeffe going one better and climbing to the top step of the podium in Sofia on Saturday.

Developed by the father of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin wanted a sport that would test the complete all-round athlete and he came up with modern pentathlon. He also had a cavalry officer caught behind enemy lines in mind when he chose to combine running, shooting, fencing, swimming and horse riding.

The strongest athlete across all five disciplines combined is declared the winner.

Meath woman Coyle was leading into the final event on Friday – the run and shoot – but was overtaken by Kate French of Britain. She managed to hold off the charge of Russia’s Uliana Batashova to finish second.

Kilkenny's Lanigan O'Keeffe was third after the fencing and swimming legs. He jumped into the lead following the horse riding and held on right until the end of the run-shoot.

The pair are both two-time Olympians having competed in London 2012 and Rio 2016 and both are targeting medals at Tokyo 2020 in just over two years time.

There are a series of modern pentathlon world cup events held around the world ever year, but this is the first time that Irish competitors have enjoyed such success.