Max dives into tough pentathlon

Published 21 August 2016 (AEDT)

A general view during the Swimming event of the Modern Pentathlon on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Aquatics Centre. © 2016 Getty Images

MODERN PENTATHLON: A sub two-minute time in the pool has put Australian Max Esposito in good stead at the start of the second and final day of the men’s modern pentathlon.

Esposito – younger brother of women’s pentathlon Rio gold medallist Chloe – was in the fastest heat of the day and finished the 200m swim in 1:59:71.

This was just outside his season best swim of 1:59:54, however was a strong outcome for the 19-year-old from Casula in a tough heat and his debut Olympic appearance.

He was the fourth fastest finisher both in his heat and overall, earning him 341 modern pentathlon points.

Recently Esposito finished second overall in the Open Central Asian Cup (June 2016) and fourth in the French Open (December 2015). Comparatively he has achieved a much faster swim in Rio, but his fencing results are weaker.

Leading the swimming round, and therefore the competition overall at this stage, is James Cooke of Great Britain on 354 points, Amro Elgeziry (Egypt) with 353 points and Joseph Choong, Great Britain, on 345.

London 2012 gold medallist David Svoboda (Czech Republic) is in 23rd place with 324 points while the silver medallist, Zhongrong Cao of China, is in fifth place behind Esposito.

The result will help Esposito make up some much needed ground after the fencing ranking round on Thursday (August 18), the opening day of the pentathlon.

Following 35 bouts in a round-robin competition against each athlete, Esposito finished in 29th position with a record of 14 victories and 21 losses.

He accumulated 184 points in that round, but they are yet to be added to the total score pending the result of the fencing bonus round – the next event to occur.

In the bonus round competitors play a sudden death, reverse progressive tournament. In this situation the two lowest ranked fencers will face off for 45 seconds, the person to achieve the first touch will go on to play against the next ranked player and so on. In the case of a double defeat (no clear touch for either athlete), the higher ranked entrant will progress.

Competition resumes at 2pm (AEST 3am Sunday 21 August) with the fencing bonus round, then show jumping and the final leg, the combined shooting and running event.

More to come…

Candice Keller

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