Germany’s Annika Schleu delivered an accomplished performance to claim women’s individual gold at the season-ending International Modern Pentathlon Federation (UIPM) Champion of Champions event in Doha.
Having come out on top in the riding, Schleu maintained her form through the combined event to finish ahead of Australia’s Chloe Esposito and Lithuania’s Gintare Venckauskaite, who took silver and bronze respectively.
Japan’s Natsumi Tomonaga emerged as the fastest swimmer with a time of 2min 14.50sec, finishing ahead of South Korea’s Mina Jeong and world number six Esposito.
But with 20 victories and 10 defeats to her name, Schleu took the initiative after winning the fencing bonus round ahead of South Korea’s Soo jin Yang and Canada’s Melanie McCann.
Schleu and compatriot Janine Kohlmann both enjoyed a perfect performance in the riding section to carry the maximum 300 points, allowing the former to start the combined event in first place.
And having established a lead, it never looked as though Schleu was going to falter as she kept her nerve to give nobody a chance of catching her.
"I am so happy because last season didn't go the way I wanted it to and I still have to qualify for the German team for the Olympics," said Schleu, the world number 22.
"So I hope to gain some confidence from this, and I am very proud of my fencing.
"Fencing is always my weakness and I can't believe I won the fencing."
There was a close battle for silver behind the winner, but it was Esposito who moved smoothly through the field to take it after beginning the combined event in seventh place.
"I'm very happy," she said.
"This was my first competition of the season and I've just been training very hard and I have not peaked yet so it's really nice to know I'm at this level."
Venckauskaite started the closing stage in an even lower position of 11th and had to show determination to fight her way past Belarus’ Anastasiya Prokopenko, Italy’s Lavinia Bonessio and McCann for a third-place finish.
Klaus Schormann, President of UIPM, paid tribute to the organisers in Doha and expressed confidence that more competitions other than the UIPM Champion of Champions, which will be held in Qatar’s capital until at least until 2017, could also come to the city.
"I think we have a fantastic competition here in Doha," he said.
"For most of the athletes this is the end of a long season."
The 2015 UIPM Champion of Champions concludes tomorrow with the men's individual event.
August 2015: Consistent Schoneborn and Schleu claim women's relay gold for Germany at Modern Pentathlon European Championships
February 2015: Qatar to host UIPM Champion of Champions event until 2017