Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe has won a bronze medal in the Men's Final at the UIPM 2020 Pentathlon World Cup in Cairo, taking a giant step towards his third Olympic Games.
The 28-year-old, who finished eighth in the event at the 2016 Games in Rio, expressed delight at his overall performance in Egypt, having spent part of the off-season on an intensive altitude training camp in Iten, Kenya.
"I am really happy with that. I put in a really big block of training over the winter and I felt really fit out there today. I hope now I can continue for the rest of the season on this trajectory," he said.
"My swimming was actually about six seconds slower than usual, but that's because I really concentrated my training on running and fencing over the winter, and it paid dividends. It feels really good."
📢 RESULT: MEN'S FINAL 📢— UIPM - World Pentathlon (@WorldPentathlon) February 29, 2020
🥇 Adam MAROSI 🇭🇺
🥈 JUN Woongtae 🇰🇷
🥉 Arthur LANIGAN-O'KEEFFE 🇮🇪#WorldCupCairo
The Kilkenny-born athlete had finished tenth in swimming, before a fencing round in which he scored 20 victories and 15 defeats, and then strengthened his position with a perfect ride for 300 points that enabled him to vault up to sixth place overall.
He stayed in the chasing pack throughout the Laser Run, before passing world champion Valentin Belaud of France at the final shoot and seeing off Marvin Dogue of Germany and Alexander Lifanov of Russia in the battle for bronze.
That put him behind gold medal winner Adam Marosi of Hungary and South Korea's Woongtae Jun in the overall standings.
Finishing third in the first of five World Cup events will be crucial for the two-time Olympian's position in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic ranking list, which plays a determining role for the majority of the remaining qualification places.