Italian duo Francesca Tognetti and Matteo Cicinelli produced a fine display as they earned a convincing victory in the mixed relay event on the concluding day of action at the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) Junior World Championships in Cairo.
The Italian duo proved too strong for European rivals France, who claimed silver, and Germany, who had to settle for bronze as the Championships drew to an exciting conclusion in the Egyptian capital.
Russian duo Alena Popova and Nikolai Dudko set the pace in the swimming pool with a time of 1min 58.89sec, ahead of Argentina's Juliana Borgarucci and Vicente Lima who were timed at 1:58.93.
It was in the fencing stage, however, that Italy first showed signs of their intention to challenge for gold as they topped the ranking round with 21 victories and 11 defeats.
In riding, one of the clear favourites for gold suffered a major setback as South Korea's Kim Sunwoo fell from her horse and, although not badly injured, the individual gold medallist did not feel able to compete in the combined run and shoot.
Pairs from France and Guatemala were the only nations who left the riding arena with a maximum 300 points, with Italy starting the combined event in first place, nine seconds ahead of Borgarucci and Lima.
During the women's leg, Tognetti left the shooting range in first and retained her lead throughout.
Cicinelli then capitalised on the advantage he had been presented and set off at an impressive pace.
There was an immense battle between Brice Loubet of France and Germany's Marvin Faly Dogue for silver which saw the latter move into second place after the final shooting series.
Somehow, Loubet summoned the stamina to overtake his rival in the final few metres and secure the silver medal.
Tognetti and Cicinelli enjoyed victory by 13 points, scoring a total tally of 1428.
Guatemala finished just outside the medal positions in fourth whilst Argentina and Great Britain came fifth and sixth respectively.
"When we started in swimming we were in fourth or fifth place and we had to wait for fencing until we moved to first place," said Cicinelli.
"We knew after the fencing that we had a good chance, and after an extraordinary riding stage we knew we could win.
"We suffered during the combined event, and Francesca knew that she had very good French and German girls on her shoulder.
"When we touched hands I had to run and I knew I had about 15 seconds, and luckily I performed well."