POSTED: Saturday July 7th 2012

De Luca Runs Away with Modern Pentathlon European Gold

A flawless ride helped De Luca to gold
A flawless ride helped De Luca to gold

Being the combined event world record holder meant De Luca ran away with the title
Being the combined event world record holder meant De Luca ran away with the title

De Luca become 2012 European Champion
De Luca become 2012 European Champion

Riccardo De Luca (ITA) has sprinted his way to the 2012 European Championships title in a steamy Sofia, Bulgaria.

De Luca was simply too quick for the pair of Hungarians of Robert Kasza and Bence Demeter who had to settle for silver and bronze respectively in the last event before the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The Italian started the day in rare fencing form, recording his highest score in his career. After this result, the gold was his to lose, as he is by far the fastest man in the history of the combined event. He did not let the gold slip from his grasp with a perfect ride and a trademark fast combined event making him the European Champion.

“I am really happy, I still can’t believe that I won” stated an overwhelmed De Luca. “I know I am the best in the combined, but it is different when you start at the front. I get very nervous before the start, so my hand was shaking at my 1st shoot which did not help.

However I was confident I could overcome the 10 seconds (Kasza had a 10 second lead going into the combined).

I will now go to the Olympic Games, where I will just try to do the best that I can.” concluded the 26 year old.

The 2011 World Cup Final Champion Kasza, had a good all round performance to win silver. “This is a very good feeling, because a European medal is very important to motivate you before the Olympic Games, as I have had a very long season with injuries and training so now I have won a medal I think YES! I am going the right way.

Riccardo (De Luca) was simply too good today, it was his day and I had no chance come the final lap to catch him, he is too quick.”

Former Junior World Champion Demeter did what not many people have done before to win his bronze medal. This was overtaking World #3 Ilia Frolov (RUS) who ended up finishing 5th on the final lap and then won a sprint in the final 100 meters to beat Valentin Prades (FRA) whohad to settle for 4th.

“I am very happy because it’s my 2nd medal this year, today is a fantastic day. In the first 2 runs, I ran slowly to keep my power for my last lap which allowed me to overtake Ilia (Frolov) and Valentin (Prades)” said Demeter.

Frolov’s 4th place combined with defending champion Andrei Moiseev’s 8th and World #1 Aleksander Lesun’s (RUS) 9th ensured that the Russian men matched their countrywomen’s gold medal feat of yesterday to win the teams gold. Hungary won silver just ahead of an ecstatic Czech Republic team who finished with bronze.

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Keywords · Modern Pentathlon · Olympics · European Championships · Sofia · Bulgaria · De Luca · Moiseev · Kasza · Demeter · Italy · Fence · Run · Swim · Ride · Shoot · London · 2012 · Olympics · Pentathletes · Gold · Women

Name: Matt Pound
Organization: Union Internationale De Pentathlon Moderne - UIPM
Phone: +377 9777 8555

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