Fifteen of the top 16 male pentathletes – including Russia’s Olympic champion Alexander Lesun and Britain’s world champion Jamie Cooke – are on the start list for the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup that starts tomorrow in Székesfehérvár, Hungary.
Cooke will again face the Frenchman he beat to the line so dramatically in Mexico City to win his title, world number two Valentin Prades.
World number one Jun Woong-tae will be in the field, along with South Korean compatriot Jung Jin-hwa, the 2017 global champion.
Also present will be athletes rankedfrom world number three to world number eight – Arthur Lanigan-O’Keefe of Ireland, Jan Kuf of the Czech Republic, Ilya Palazkov of Belarus, Patrick Dogue of Germany, Joseph Choong of Britain and Pavlo Tymoshchenko of Ukraine.
Home hopes will rest on Bence Demeter, world-ranked 13, Adam Marosi, Robert Kasza and Gergely Regos.
But Hungary have more realistic podium hopes in the women’s elite race, where world number three Sarolta Kovacs will be seeking to make a big impact.
Her main rivals are likely to be Germany’s world silver medallist Annika Schleu and Britain’s Kate French.
Also looking dangerous are Lithuania’s London 2012 gold medallist Laura Asadauskaite and France’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Elodie Clouvel.
After this event, which concludes on May 5, there will be one more World Cup, in Prague from May 21-16, before the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Cup Final in Tokyo in June, which could prove crucial for Tokyo 2020 qualification.