Korea's Jun Woong-tae takes bronze in modern pentathlon
Jun Woong-tae is Korea's first ever modern pentathlon medalist, winning bronze in Tokyo on Saturday after a strong performance in all five events. Jung Jin-hwa just missed the podium, finishing fourth.
Modern pentathlon is based on five skills that were considered the core skills a cavalry officer needed: Fencing, swimming, horseback riding, pistol shooting and cross-country running, the last two of which are combined into one final round, the laser-run. The first three sports determine the order in which the athletes start the laser-run.
The best Korea has ever done at modern pentathlon is finishing in 11th place, a record originally set by Kim Mi-seop at the 1996 Atlanta Games and tied by Jung in 2012 and Kim Se-hee in the women's event yesterday.
The men's event started on Thursday, when Jung ended the fencing ranking round in fifth place and Jun in ninth.
The swimming round started on Saturday afternoon. Jun finished the six 200-meter freestyle heats sixth, in one minute and 57.23 seconds less than a second quicker than Jun, who finished seventh with one minute 57.85 seconds.
Just an hour after the swimming heats finished, the fencing bonus round was held.
The bonus round is done in an elimination format based on the results of the first round-robin. The bottom two from the round robin play each other in a 30 second bout and the fencer who scores first instantly wins the match, staying on the piste to face the next fencer. As points are given based on the number of wins in the round, Jung added one point after defeating Paveld Svecovs of Latvia, while Jun lost to Valentin Prades of France in his first bout.
In horseback event, where pentathletes ride an unfamiliar horse on a show jumping course trying not to incur penalties, Jung came in sixth on Kairo and Jun came 11th on Fluoriet.
After the first three rounds, it was looking good for Team Korea. Jung had the second-highest score and started the laser-run race 12 second after Joseph Choong of Great Britain and Jun started 28 seconds after Choong in fourth.
In the laser run, competitors run 800 meters on a cross country course and then shoot a laser gun at a target, repeating the process three times. Choong was the first to cross the finish line, clinching gold and setting a new Olympic record for men’s overall points. Ahmed Elgendy of Egypt came in second and Jun came in third to win bronze, shortly followed by Jung who came in fourth place.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]