Natalya Coyle was just squeezed out of the medals at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup final in Kazakhstan.
The Meath woman rose as high as second at one stage late on in the competition, but she missed out on a medal at the prestigious competition held in Astana.
Modern pentathlon is a combination of five sports – fencing, show jumping, swimming, target shooting and running. The fencing takes place on the first day and the other four, with the run and shoot a combined event, on the second.
Coyle was fourth overnight and moved into the medals after the horse riding. During the frenetic run-shoot, her position changed and it looked as though she was going to do enough to earn herself at least a bronze medal.
But shortly before the end she was caught by Lithuania’s Gintare Venckauskaite and finished fourth. Hungary’s Sarolta Kovacs took silver behind gold medal winner Chloe Esposito from Australia.
Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe from Kilkenny is currently sixth after the fence, which was held on Thursday, with the remaining four events on Saturday.
In May he became the first Irish athlete to take gold at a modern pentathlon world cup event, finishing first in Sofia. In a historic weekend, Coyle came second the day before, becoming the first ever Irish competitor to take a medal in a world cup event in the sport.
4th place at WORLD CUP FINAL! 😱😱🇮🇪— Natalya Coyle (@Natalyacoyle) June 22, 2018
Over the moon & delighted!
So close to a medal but still amazed! My best major champs result!! 🍀. Can’t believe it!! #TeamIreland #ModernPentathlon pic.twitter.com/9EmKWfa7mN
Developed by the father of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin wanted a sport that would testthe 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.
Both Coyle and Lanigan O’Keeffe competed at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics and both are working their way towards Tokyo 2020.