French disappointments and bad horse in the modern pentathlon

His name is Saint Boy and Annika Schleu risks having nightmares for a long time at the mention of the name of this beautiful black horse but a bit temperamental. This Friday August 6, the German lived a nightmare and saw her dream of an Olympic title in the modern pentathlon weighed down by her mount during her passage to horse riding.

Largely in the lead after fencing and swimming, Schleu fell on the wrong horse. In the pentathlon, the competitors draw lots for their mounts twenty minutes before the start. However, the so-called Saint Boy had already ruined the chances of his first date, the Russian Gulnaz Gubaydullina. Schleu was warned and anxious. In tears from the start of her journey, the German rider experienced an ordeal between refusal and fallen bars.

Every four (or five years) pentathletes see dreams of titles or medals fly away while riding. This was the case for Frenchman Christophe Ruer, on his way to a podium in Barcelona in 1992 before inheriting a somewhat surly “bastard”.

Annika Schleu offside, the French Marie Oteiza and Elodie Clouvel (reigning Olympic vice-champion), were still in ambush nine and fifteen seconds from the podium before the last event, a pursuit combining running and pistol shooting.

Gold for… French

But the expected recovery never took place. Worse, the Landaise Oteiza (European champion in 2018) sank to finish tenth, four rows behind Clouvel (6e). The title went to Briton Kate French ahead of Lithuanian Laura Asadauskaite and Hungarian Sarolta Kovacs.

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The unfortunate Annika Schleu did not give up despite the Saint Boy episode but takes a sad and cruel 31e square. And to think that she was ahead of the basics of the Olympic record after the first two events.

On Saturday, Valentin Prades and Valentin Belaud hope to have a happy hand before riding. Candidates for the podium upon their arrival in Tokyo, the French have already fallen behind after fencing (11e and 19e). Among men, the country of Baron Pierre de Coubertin (inventor of this Olympic discipline in 1912, taking inspiration from the ancient pentathlon) is still awaiting his first individual medal.

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