Kazakhstan’s Elena Potapenko and Vladislav Michshenko earned a clear victory in the mixed relay that concluded the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup in Sofia.
Potapenko, who finished ninth in the Rio 2016 Olympics, produced a strong performance alongside her less experienced team-mate, and the pair eventually finished 22 seconds clear of Kseniya Klimiankova and Pavel Tsikhanau of Belarus.
The Cuban pairing of Leidis Laura Moya and Lester Ders held the silver medal position until the final shoot where, agonisingly, the latter athlete - having overtaken Tsikhanau to regain second position, remained stuck on the range for 25 seconds.
Cuba ended up missing the podium by a single place as the South Korean pairing of Unju Kim and Changwan Seo, who had started the concluding laser run combining running and shooting in seventh place, made up 35 seconds.
"It was comfortable, but today is a great day for our country," said Potapenko.
"I was nervous regardless of the lead - 21 seconds or one second - but we just did our work, we stayed confident and we enjoyed it."
Kim commented: "It was an unbelievable race and I’m very happy."
Italy's Gloria Tocchi and Stefano Frezza finished fifth, ahead of Hungary’s Kamilla Reti and Balazs Szep.
UIPM secretary general Shiny Fang said: "Today we saw a lot of young, talented athletes in the mixed relay from 19 different countries.
"To have a top six on the podium from three continents, including Cuba, the mixed relay simply gives more countries opportunities to compete with gender equality and harmony.
"Why is the modern pentathlon mixed relay not yet in the Olympic Games programme?
"Well, maybe not for 2024, but it will only add value for future Games if the opportunity will come."