Czech double highlights final day of World Championships
August 17 - Lucie Grolichova and Natalie Dianova completed a relay double for the Czech Republic by winning the final event of the 2009 Modern Pentathlon World Championships at Crystal Palace tonight.
The pair followed the victory by the Czech men’s relay team of David Svoboda and Ondrej Polivka just hours earlier by taking the women’s team relay gold.
The Czechs had gone into the final event, the run/shoot, in third place behind Britain and Russia.
But they beat the German team of Eva Trautmann and Olympic champion Lena Schoneborn into second place by nine seconds.
Grolichova said: “We won the European Championships so we had big ambitions of another medal here, but we didn’t expect it would be gold.
Trautmann said: “We were really lucky.
"With the combined it is a little bit difficult and today it was good.
“Germany has had a good Championships.
"Gold medal in the team, and now silver in the relay, Lena got bronze and I was sixth overall – a good Championships for us.”
The Polish team of Sylvia Czwojdzinska and Pauline Boenisz just edged the British pair of Heather Fell and Mhairi Spence into fourth – a repeat of the finish achieved by Sam Weale and Nick Woodbridge in the men’s event earlier in the day.
Boenisz said: “That was super – a big surprise for us.
"We know that the Great Britain team is very strong and before running we just wanted to run and shoot well and we did this.
"We managed to climb three places and this was our only medal of the Championships so it’s a great finish.
“Everything at these Championships has been very impressive and that is great for pentathlon.
"We got the result and that is the important thing.”
Spence said: “We got where we were by pulling together throughout the day, but it just didn’t work out at the end. It’s obviously disappointing, but it just makes us want to work harder.
“It’s been really good fun competing here and the organisation of the competition has gone really well.
"I’m exhausted now, but I think it’s my most enjoyable World Championships so far.”
In the men's race, world number one and European champion Ondrej Polivka and his team-mate David Svoboda, winner of the individual World Championship silver medal on Saturday, were the heroes for the Czech Republic.
The Czech pair started 83 seconds behind the leaders going into the run/shoot, the El Geziry brothers from Egypt.
Both Svoboda and Polikva produced outstanding shoots and Polivka held enough in reserve to just hold off Russia’s Semen Burtsev by two seconds in the chase for gold.
Svoboda said: “We didn’t expect that.
"We thought we could maybe get fourth, fifth place, maybe if we had a lot of luck we coud fight for a medal, but the gold medal this is something unbelievable for us.
"This is my third World Championship medal.”
Weale (pictured), running the last leg for Great Britain, gave it everything, producing a stunning late sprint, but could not quite charge down Egypt’s Amro El Geziry.
Despite having just run two kilometres and completed two shoots, Woodbridge, chased after Weale to shout encouragement as Weale set off in pursuit of Amro El Geziry in the final run.
El Geziry was well ahead of Weale going into the last run, but the Briton took big chunks out of the deficit before he just ran out of time as the finish line approached.
Woodbridge said: “I could see the Egyptian tiring and in the end it was probably down to a second or two.
“I’m obviously gutted.
"The men’s programme has so much to prove given how well the women have done.
"I feel as though we’re so close to doing that and it would have been nice to have started it here.”