Lanigan-O’Keeffe through to final

Updated: March 10, 2012
An excellent performance from Ireland’s Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe in Charlotte, North Carolina last night saw  the 20 years old student  from Kilkenny qualify for Sunday’s final in 12th qualifying position in Group B, a tremendous performance when one looks at the quality of the opposition and the  host of top men who failed to qualify for the final.
Let us not forget too Eanna Bailey the young Swords student  who ended the day in 23rd position.
In such a talented field that too was a commendable achievement
As the majority of Irish sports fans see little news of the sport in mainstream media let the young Kilkenny man introduce himself:
“ I come from an equestrian background, both my parents were involved in horses so as a child I did a lot of horse riding and I started taking swimming lessons to address my severe co-ordination problems that I had when I was younger. I soon fell in love with the sport of swimming and became competitive at youth level. I was then recruited to compete for my pony club (Warrington) in the Tetrathlon championships (Running, Shooting, Swimming & Riding). I became very good at Tetrathlon and wanted to take it to the next level so I took up Pentathlon and received a sports Schalorship to an Elite sporting school in England called Millfield were I began to train seriously. And the rest is history!”
Meantime,back in Charlotte, there  were several shocks in the Qualifying competition.

The biggest of the bunch was current European, World and Olympic Champion Andrei Moiseev (RUS) The Russian was below his usual standard in all the 4 disciplines today which resulted in him finishing a disappointing 19th position.

The double Olympic champion was not the only one left disappointed with his results today with World #5 Bence Demeter,  Dmytro Kirpulyanskyy (UKR), Peter Tibolya (HUN) and Ondrej Polivka (CZE) all missing out on qualification.

The standout performers of the day was Aleksander Lesun (RUS) who made up for not making the final at World Cup #1 last year, Justinas Kinderis (LTU), David Svoboda (CZE), Adam Marosi (HUN) and Serguei Karyakin (RUS). All these guys will be relieved that their hard work in the pre season has paid off and will be aiming to be on the podium on Sunday afternoon.

The 4 Italian men matched the efforts of the 4 Italian women who secured their qualification yesterday by all making it to the final. The pick of the bunch was Ricardo De Luca who was flawless in the combined event.

Group B was dominated by the Chinese pair Jianli Guo and Zhangrong Cao. If these 2 produce this kind of performance on Sunday, the gold medal may be heading home with them.

By far the highlight of the day for the Charlotte crowd was experiencing 2 world records. Jamie Cooke (GBR) smashed his own world record in the pool posting a time of 1:54.25. Then Sam Sacksen (USA) bettered his own shooting world record with a time of 8.1 for his first 5 shots.

Here  a delighted Arthur  talks to UIPM.TV.

You can watch LIVE STREAMING of both finals – - –  involving  Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Natalya Coyle on

SportsNewsIreland wishes both Natalya and Arthur the best of good luck in their finals this weekend.

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