POSTED: Monday July 23rd 2012

Modern Pentathlon: From Borisov to Moscow, to World Champiom, Aleksander Lesun's Story

The moment Lesun knew he was World Champion
The moment Lesun knew he was World Champion

Lesun is now a proud Russian
Lesun is now a proud Russian

If Lesun fences well the Olympic gold could be his
If Lesun fences well the Olympic gold could be his

A little over four yours ago World #1 Aleksander Lesun’s modern pentathlon career looked to be over.

Doctors had found problems with his heart and warned him that it wouldn’t be sensible to carry on putting it under the stress of competing.
“The doctors found some huge heart problems,” he says. “They said that if I continued sport, my heart would not be able to survive the loads. I was very, very upset.”

So upset that he walked away from the sport entirely for a while. “I worked in the car service station, I was also involved in dry cleaning carpets as well as working as a mechanic in the evenings. It was very boring and I missed modern pentathlon incredibly.”

Luckily for Lesun, the Russian coaches wanted to be absolutely sure that this prodigious talent could not continue. Following a series of medical tests at five different clinics across Russia in 2009, he was declared fit to continue competing and he hasn’t looked back.

Today Lesun has the world of modern pentathlon at his feet. He is ranked number one in the world and will surely be vying for a medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. His victories this year include the recent Kremlin Cup in Moscow, the World Championships in Rome and the World Cup #2 in Rio.

18th position at World Cup #3 in Hungary may look a little out of place among these stellar results. Until, that is, you find out that Lesun learned he’d become a father in the middle of the event. He was soon drawing inspiration from fatherhood, dedicating his World Championship Gold to his new daughter.

“Yes, it has added to my motivation. I don’t see fatherhood as a distraction, only a reason to go further.”

Of course, just making the Russian Olympic team is a great achievement.  Each country can only send two athletes to the Games, yet the first three places in the UIPM World Rankings are occupied by Russians - Lesun, Andrei Moiseev and Ilya Frolov.

Lesun got the nod, but insists there’s no room for either rancor or gloating within the Russian team, that has been compared to the great Barcelona Football club.

“We have a very friendly atmosphere. All are very strong athletes and all are ready to devote themselves to sport. Our success is the result of many hours of training together and no one will become conceited.”

But Lesun must feel pride at the journey he has made since he first showed sporting promise when he started swimming as a six-year-old in the small town Borisov in Minsk region. His progress may not have been smooth, but that hasn’t stopped Lesun reaching the top.

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Keywords · Modern Pentathlon · London 2012 · Pentathlon · Pentathlete · Olympics · Olympic Games · London · UIPM · IOC · Coubertin · Run · Shoot · Swim · Ride · Fence · Great Britain · gold · champion · Aleksander Lesun · Lesun · Belarus · Russia · Russian

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

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