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Ireland's elite pentathletes poised for World Cup return tomorrow

Sive Brassil and Natalya Coyle are in Budapest as the Modern Pentathlon circuit gets back up and running.

Coyle training with fencing coach Andrey Fedotov last summer.
Coyle training with fencing coach Andrey Fedotov last summer.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

TOMORROW WILL mark the end of a 13-month wait for Ireland’s leading pentathletes to return to competition.

Natalya Coyle and Sive Brassil will lead the Irish involvement in the qualification rounds at the UIPM Pentathlon World Cup in Budapest tomorrow, with Arthur Lanigan O’Keefe also set to challenge over the weekend.

The tournament marks a continuation of Olympic qualification, though Coyle has already secured her place at the Tokyo Games.

“I’m physically in a really good place. It’s been great to train so consistently for the past while,” says Coyle in an interview released by Pentathlon Ireland today.

“I would have liked to get away for a camp to access some different fencing but this is the Covid world we live in. It’ll be nice to get the first competition nerves out of the way soon and look towards August.

I just need to get back into the competition mindset, get used to the nerves, stresses and excitement of a competition again. I want to see where each of my events is and where I need to finetune coming towards Tokyo.”

She added:

“I’m really just looking forward to toeing the line again. It’s a bit nerve-wracking travelling with Covid still prevalent but I’m just excited to start!”

Brassil sits 34th in Olympic qualification ranking and is hoping to hit the ground running in Budapest to boost her towards one of the few remaining berths and join Coyle at the postponed Games.

Both competitors expressed some relief at the prospect of being back in action and thanks the Sports Council and sponsors  like Liberty Insurance, FBD and Indeed for helping them return to what will be a hectic schedule ahead with two more World Cup events hot on the heels of this weekend and a World Championship in Cairo in June.

“After the first World Cup I’ll go directly to Bulgaria for the next two World Cups,” said  Galway native Brassil.

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“They are all within the space of a month, so it doesn’t make sense to travel home in between competitions, especially with all the travel restrictions.

“My main focus will be on getting enough ranking points in the upcoming competitions. I already have two results from Europeans 2019 and the only World Cup of 2020, so I will be looking to add to these results in the coming weeks. At the end of the qualification period, my best three results will count towards my ranking.

“It has always been a dream of mine to represent Ireland on the highest sporting stage. If I could realise that dream, especially after the year everyone has had, it would mean so much.”

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