O'Keefe celebrates a victory in fencing at the London Olympics. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Lanigan-O'Keefe storms through qualification to become 1st Irish male in modern pentathlon world final

The 22-year-old Kilkenny man will compete in the final tomorrow morning in Warsaw.

IRISH OLYMPIAN ARTHUR Lanigan-O’Keeffe was in impressive form yesterday when he stormed through qualification at the World Championships in Warsaw.

The former Junior World Championships bronze medalist is the first Irish male athlete to qualify for a final at the Senior World Championships after he finished third overall in his qualification group.

97 of the World’s best athletes were vying for qualification Poland with just 36 able to progress to tomorrow’s final. For qualification, athletes were divided into three groups with the top eight from each group automatically qualifying for the final and a further 12 highest scoring athletes across the groups also progressing.

Lanigan-O’Keeffe was seeded in Group A, beginning with fencing where he scored a total of 17 victories and 15 defeats seeing him place 13th.

In the 200m swim, his time of 1:59.20 was seventh quickest for an Irish athlete.

In 10th place after two events, the Kilkenny native showed impressive form in both the shoot and run as he coasted through the field to finish third in his qualification group with 1186 points.

With 700 days until the start of the Rio 2016 Olympics, this is a huge step forward for the 22-year-old athlete. Obviously delighted with his achievement, Lanigan-O’Keeffe will now have a day to recover from his exertions before the Men’s Final which begins at 9am  Irish time.

The Women’s qualification took place on Wednesday and for the first time, Pentathlon Ireland had a full compliment of four female athletes on the start line. Unfortunately none of them made the grade.

Natalya Coyle Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Natalya Coyle was the highest placed, finishing 18th, Kate Coleman-Lenehan came in 23rd with Jenny McGeever in 25th and Sive Brassil 27th.

However, there were some promising performances from these athletes in the individual disciplines with McGeever winning the fencing section in her group.

On Monday, McGeever and Coleman-Lenehan also contested the women’s relay event, where they placed 12th.

Training hard, training smart the key for these multi-discipline athletes

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