Esposito's 7th sets new Australian best
13 August 2012
MODERN PENTATHLON: Sydney's Chloe Esposito has recorded the best result ever by an Australian woman finishing 7th in the gruelling modern pentathlon at Greenwich Park, which was the last medal to be decided at the 2012 Games.
Making her Olympic debut, the 20-year-old, coached by her father and 1984 Olympic modern pentathlete Daniel Esposito, made up nine places in the final run-shoot combined event finishing just 40secs behind the winner, the margin equivalent to her handicap.
The previous best result by an Australian woman was 14th (from 24) by current Australian Deputy Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller when the sport made its debut for women in the 2000 Games in Sydney.
"That's amazing; it makes me feel really good," said an ecstatic Esposito.
"It makes me want to keep training. Now I really want to go to Rio (for the 2016 Games).
"It was a big commitment to train for London, but it really was worth it.
"Being my first Olympics I just wanted to do my best; I would have been happy with anything as long as I stuck to my tasks."
A strong swim and ride saw Esposito sitting in 16th spot with a 40sec handicap leading into the final leg, the combined run-shoot event, consisting of three repeats of a 1km running circuit that starts each time with pistol shooting at five targets.
With five disciplines at three venues in one day, Esposito, 20, ranked 11th in the world, tackled the final leg 10 hours after the event kicked off with 35 bouts of fencing over a three-hour period, followed by a 200m freestyle pool swim and a round of show jumping on a horse she met 20mins prior to riding it.
The event started at the Copper Box with fencing where each athlete had to compete against every other athlete, with Esposito winning 14 of her 35 bouts to place 28th.
Esposito improved her ranking by seven spots in the second leg at the Aquatics Centre, registering the fifth fastest time in the 200m freestyle pool event (2:12.28) in the field of 36. The fastest time in this event scores the most points.
In the third leg at Greenwich Park, athletes contested a 12-jump course, with a horse chosen from a pool group. Esposito had a sterling ride on Glen Gold earning 1156 points from a maximum of 1200, losing points for knocking two poles down and incurring a 45sec time penalty.
At the end of the show jumping, the athletes' scores and times were converted into a time handicap to determine the starting times for the combined run/shoot element, also at Greenwich Park. Esposito started with a 40sec. handicap.
Athletes are required to shoot at sets of five targets before running three stretches of 1000m. The first athlete to cross the finish line wins gold.
Twenty-four hours earlier, Sydney's Ed Fernon overcame
cramps in his hands and legs in the opening three-hour fencing leg to post one
of the fastest final run times for a credible 27th in his Olympic debut on Saturday.
Fernon, ranked 111th in the world after only taking up the sport five years ago, made up ground in the final combined run-shoot event to improve his position in an event involving five disciplines at three venues over an 11-hour period.
Fernon is very keen to build on his London experience and improve his ranking at the 2016 Games in Rio
Tracie Edmondson in London