The South Korean duo of Jung Jinhwa and Yang Son Jin won the mixed relay Sunday, the final event of the five-day UIPM World Cup at Fairplex and The Claremont Club.
The South Koreans trailed Japan’s Taishu Sato and Ayumu Saito by three points entering the final event on Fairplex’s Infield, the laser-run, meaning they would start three seconds behind in the event where each team member seeks to hit a target five times from 10 meters with a laser pistol before running each of two 800-meter laps.
The handicap system assures the first team crossing the finish line is the overall winner of the competition, invented in 1909 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, as a test of the skills required by 19th century cavalry soldiers
Jung and Yang completed the laser-run in 12 minutes, 25 seconds, 15 seconds faster than Sato and Saito.
The South Korean team received 555 points for the laser-run, 15 more than the Japanese team.
Jung and Yang finished the competition with 1,383 points. Sato and Saito were second with 1,371, Vladislav Sukharev and Elena Potapenko of Kazakhstan were third with 1,357 and Myles Pillage and Jessica Varley of Great Britain fourth with 1,343.
The U.S. team of Nathan Schrimsher and Samantha Achterberg were sixth in the eight-team field with 1,317 points.
Jung and Yang began the competition with the third-fastest time in the 200-meter swimming relay at The Claremont Club, 2:00.76. Sukharev and Potapenko had the fastest time, 1:59.38 and Pillage and Varley the third-fastest, 1:59.60
Sato and Saito took the overall lead by having the best performance in fencing at Fairplex’s Expo Hall 8, winning 30 of 42 bouts for 255 points, increasing their total to 557. Jung and Yang were fourth overall after the fencing, where they won 24 of 42 for 225 points, giving them 534 total.
Jung and Yang had the best performance in the riding on Fairplex’s Infield, with 294 points, six short of the maximum, moving into second. Sato and Saito had the second-highest riding score, 274 points.
The UIPM World Cup was the first international modern pentathlon competition in Los Angeles County since the 1984 Olympics. A World Cup competition will be held annually at Fairplex through at least 2020, with the 2020 competition also serving as the U.S. Olympic Trials.
If Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 Olympics, modern pentathlon would be held at StubHub Center in Carson.
—City News Service