Cooke claims third career UIPM World Cup victory in Kecskemét

 

Great Britain’s Jamie Cooke claimed the third International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup victory of his career after winning the men’s individual event in Kecskemét, Hungary.

Cooke produced a superb all-round display to maintain a position in the top three throughout the day and ultimately finished ahead of home favourites Adam Marosi and Bence Demeter in second and third respectively.

The Briton headed into the combined event in third place, three seconds behind Marosi and a further two behind leader Gauthier Romani of France.

He closed the gap to the two frontrunners with an 8.7-second shoot on the first visit to the range before asserting his control with another sub-nine-second shoot on the third visit.

Cooke then held onto his advantage in the remaining 1,600 metres and final visit to claim Britain’s first World Cup medal of the season.

“It is great to have won a World Cup in Hungary but now we need to move on,” said Pentathlon GB performance director Jan Bartu.

“We need to take encouragement from this performance but not to think the job is not done yet.”

The final started in the pool where Cooke’s time of 1 min 58.32sec was the quickest of the competition, shaving 0.5 seconds off his own qualification time and giving him 346 points for an early lead.

After a slow start in the fencing salle, Cooke won four straight bouts in rounds 10 and 11 to move himself into the top 10 in the discipline standings for the first time.

He eventually finished in 16th with 19 victories and 16 defeats which resulted in him picking up 214 points.

In the bonus round, he lost to China’s Haihang Su, leaving him in second position after two disciplines, 12 seconds behind leader Marosi.

Cooke picked up 288 points on the riding course, meaning he would start the combined event in the bronze medal position.

With less than a minute separating the top 24 athletes, a thrilling finale ensued in the Hungarian city with Cooke’s pace and accuracy on the range seeing him overcome his two main rivals for victory.

His running was strong throughout the 3,200m course as he recorded the quickest combined event time of the day – 10:57.23.

London 2012 bronze medallist Marosi held on to take silver with team-mate Demeter overhauling Romani in the final 800m loop to take the third step on the podium.

Tomorrow’s mixed team relay will bring proceedings to a close in Kecskemét.

 

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