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Aussie modern pentathletes qualify spots for Buenos Aires 2018

18 September 2017

MODERN PENTATHLON: Keean Van Venrooij and Nikita Mawhirt are Australia’s first qualified athletes for the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games (YOG) having finished as the top ranked Oceania athletes at the YOG Continental qualifier in Gotemba, Japan.

Van Venrooij finished 16th in the boys event while fellow Australians Hamish Boyd and Darcy Wade were 26th and 28th in the 29-man field. It was a trio of Koreans who filled the podium with Hyoseop Shin taking the gold medal.

In the girls event Mawhirt was 17th overall ahead of her compatriots Tully Watt (19th), Georgia Ensbey (22nd) and Mikayla Hatten (27th) in the field of 27. China’s Xin Yuan claimed the victory ahead of teammate Linzhi Xie.

By being the highest placed Oceania athletes, Van Venrooij and Mawhirt will now wait to be nominated to and selected by the Australian Olympic Committee which will likely happen in 2018.

The team had plenty of support in Japan with Sydney 2000 Olympian Kitty Chiller, Team Manager and Athens 2004 Olympian Eszter Hortobagyi and Athens 2004 Olympic coach Adam Temesi all on hand to get the best out of our next crop of modern pentathlon stars.

The YOG proved a strong platform for Nanjing 2014 athlete Max Esposito who went on to finish 7th at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

At the very beginning of qualification period for the YOG, Australia’s only other confirmed quota position for Buenos Aires 2018 is a male single sculls rowing place with the athlete to take that spot to be decided in April.

Australia is looking to take a team of approximately 70 athletes to the third edition of the Summer YOG will take place in October in the Argentinean capital.

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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