Natalya Coyle and Sive Brassil kept their preparations for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on track with strong performances in one of the showpiece events of the season.
Two-time Olympian Coyle, who has already qualified for Tokyo, performed strongly all day to finish fifth at the Pentathlon World Cup final in Hungary while Brassil worked hard for a placing of 25th that keeps her in contention for a qualifying spot.
Securing a place on the extended podium was a strong affirmation of Coyle's form after the turbulence of the past 15 months.
It was her highest individual placing in a global competition since she won World Cup silver in Cairo in March 2019, and close to her best-ever finish in the World Cup Final (fourth in Astana in 2018).
Meath pentathlete Coyle, 30, said afterwards: "I’m absolutely delighted with a fifth place in the World Cup final. It’s a competition that replicates the Olympics so I’m delighted I’m coming into form.
"I’m really happy with how the whole day went. I had a solid fence and swim, my horse was great and my Laser Run was great.
.@Natalyacoyle has placed 5th in The World Cup final in Hungary?? @sivebraz finished in 25th amongst the Worlds top athletes.— Pentathlon Ireland (@Pent_Ireland) May 14, 2021
Great performance from both athletes across the events and a 1st taste of the new Olympic format ??#TeamIreland ????#20x20 pic.twitter.com/UeTp2LSeZ0
"It’s been a long year with Covid so I can’t explain how happy I am to be mixing it with the best in the world again."
For Brassil, the road to Tokyo has never been anything other than an uphill climb but she continues to accumulate ranking points to keep herself in with a chance.
Today’s result should improve her place in the UIPM Olympic World Ranking List (she is currently 30th) with the Pentathlon World Championships still to come in Cairo in June.
Ireland's interest in the competition continues tomorrow with Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe competing in the remainder of the men’s final – he is currently in 21st place after the fencing ranking round.