Csaba Bohm set a new world record at the UIPM Pentathlon World Cup Final in Ankara. (c) UIPM

Hungary's Csaba Bohm set a new world record to take the men's event at the UIPM Pentathlon World Cup Final in Ankara on Saturday (25 May), with Lithuania's Laser Run specialist Gintare Venckauskaite claiming the biggest win of her career.

The women started proceedings in the morning with Venckauskaite one of eight athletes to score a perfect 300 points in Riding. Her team-mate, two-time Olympic medallist Laura Asadauskaite, was eliminated with the 40-year-old showing her professionalism by not allowing cheap wins in the Fencing Ranking Round.

French pair Marie Oteiza and Elodie Clouvel led the field into the final after strong performances in Fencing, and Clouvel closed the gap on her compatriot to just one point after her superior time in Swimming. Egypt's Salma Abdelmaksoud rounded out the top three ahead of the Laser Run with European Games champion Alice Sotero moving into fourth place with the best swim of the day. Venckauskaite was sixth but less than 20 seconds off the lead which made her one of the favourites to take gold.

In the Laser Run, 2022 winner Clouvel attacked Oteiza at the start but a poor first shoot saw her drop to seventh place. Venckauskaite seized her chance, leaving the first shooting range in second before breezing past Oteiza into first.

Neutral athlete Mariya Gnedtchik was another one carving her way through the field having started 33 seconds off the pace in 11th place. The 20-year-old Budapest victor again showed her prowess as she moved into a clear second place ahead of the battle for bronze headed by Türkiye's Ilke Ozyuksel. Despite a sluggish final shoot, the home favourite took third ahead of Seong, Sotero and Abdelmaksoud. Blanka Guzi's best Laser Run of the day saw her take seventh overall.

Venckauskaite said afterwards, "I feel very good. I’m really proud of myself that I was able to fulfil my plan. I felt the pressure from the very beginning, because I knew that athletes from Belarus and Hungary were very good runners, so I did all the rounds in 100 percent and the last round was very hard because I knew that the Belarusian athlete was right behind me, and I was afraid that she would sprint. But I’m very happy that I managed it."

Csaba Bohm dominated the men's event, joining Ahmed Elgendy in achieving a perfect 300 in the Riding round. Valentin Prades followed suit, and took the lead in Fencing with 23 wins out of 34 to Bohm's 22.

Bohm had the sixth-fastest swim to take a lead of just two seconds over Prades into the Laser Run with Elgendy's best swim putting him into third place. Despite the Hungarian unaccustomed to starting the final discipline in first position, he produced a typically strong run and backed it up with solid shooting from the range. He was never challenged and his total score of 1535 broke the previous world record - jointly held by Jun Woong-tae, , Giorgio Malan and Emiliano Hernandez - by one point.

Hernandez was the early mover in the Laser Run, going into second place, but Prades retook him with Elgendy soon emerging as his main challenger for silver. A final 10-second shoot gave the Frenchman the advantage and he just held off his Egyptian rival with Hernandez back in fourth.

Bohm said, "It’s incredible. I don’t know what to say because it was a rollercoaster this week. I really had to change my mentality because I was full of fears, I was full of emotions, and I had to close them out. I think it was the key to beating not just myself, but beating others, and finding the trust I lost.

“It means a lot, but I know its value, because the main goal is for sure the Olympics – and it was just a step. It was a huge step for me, but a lot of pressure comes in the World Champs, so I’m staying on the ground."

Those World Championships in Zhengzhou, China run from 9-16 June with the final spots at Paris 2024 up for grabs. The top three in each gender who have not already won quota spots will book their places in the French capital with the top nine athletes in the world rankings after Zhengzhou also qualifying. Two Universality Places per gender, to ensure representation from most continents, will also be awarded.