2023 World Championships: Men's Qualification
After an exciting day of Women’s Qualification at the UIPM 2023 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships on Wednesday, it was the Men’s turn with a whopping 81 competitors gunning for 36 precious Semi-final places in Bath (GBR) today.
The day’s competition kicked off with the first of three groups, Group A, which proved to be a remarkable contest, just two points separating the top nine qualifiers from leader Alexandre Dallenbach of Switzerland on 1199 points to Pele Uibel of Germany on 1197. In between were plenty of other elite talents including Egypt superstars Mohanad Shaban and Ahmed Elgendy as well as World No.6 Woongtae Jun of Korea.
Team USA athletes Brendan Anderson and Tyler Evans in Group A started the day slightly behind after the fencing ranking round. Anderson with 12 victories and Evans with 6 left no room for error in the remaining disciplines. Both athletes had strong swims with Evans hitting the wall in 2:03 and Anderson at 2:05 moving up in the ranking before the laser run where a top 12 is needed to advance to the semi-finals. Starting the last event in 18th place, Anderson had his work cut out for him but only 10 seconds separated 18th from 12th where anything is possible. Anderson was able to run and shoot his way through the pack moving up 4 spots with the 7th fastest run in his group to finish 14th and just shy of the 12th spot missing his chance to advance. Evans starting in 25th with the group start needed to have a PR in both the run and shoot to advance. Like Anderson, Tyler was able to run a few athletes down but his shooting series were not as strong averaging 21 seconds per series finishing 23rd in Group B.
Group B featured plenty of heavy hitters too but there was a surprising name atop the standings. Oleksandr Tovkai of Ukraine is ranked 50th in the world but has turned in some impressive performances already this season, finishing 12th at the European Games, and leading the group with 1219 points. All eyes, understandably, were on those in Great Britain colors with reigning Olympic champion Joseph Choong (GBR) and upcoming talent Charles Brown (GBR) in Group B. Both delivered to qualify comfortably inside the top 12. Compatriots Martin Vlach and Jan Kuf of Czechia also progressed.
Tristen Bell and Erik Witter both competing in their first Senior World Championships paired up in Group B where they faced Olympic champions and veterans in the sport. Bell started the first half with a strong run of touches ranking him in the top 10 at the halfway mark ending the day with 12 victories and 18th place while Witter landed 10 touches ending his ranking round in 23rd going into the swim. Erik’s swimming strength landed him with the 3rd fastest swim at 1:59 moving him into 17th at the start of the laser run while Tristen’s 2:07 maintained his 18th placement. Steady running and shooting for Bell allowed him to finish in 19th while Witter’s shooting series allowed a few athletes to pass finishing in 22nd overall in Group B, both missing advancing to the semi-finals.
In the final grouping of a busy Thursday, the race for the final 12 Semi-final spots proved to be just as competitive. It was Mexico’s Laser Run prowess which came to the fore however as Emiliano Hernandez (MEX) and compatriot Manuel Padilla led home a 1-2 with Czaba Bohm of Hungary and Patrick Dogue of Germany not far behind. Meanwhile, Myles Pillage of Great Britain gave the host nation more reason to cheer as he also progressed.
While Team USA missed advancing any athletes to the semi-finals they all learned valuable lessons and experience against their PanAmerican competitors as all eyes are now focused on Santiago.
Next up Jessica Davis and Brendan Davis will pair up for the Mixed Relay on Monday where a podium finish is the goal.
Good luck to the rest of the competitors at these 2023 World Championships and Go Team USA!!