Natalya Coyle has finished seventh for Ireland in the modern pentathlon at the Rio Olympics.
She started the combined running and shooting biathlon in fifth place, 15 seconds off a medal.
In the end, Chloe Esposito won for Australia, 16 seconds clear of France’s Elodie Clouvel, both overtaking long-time leader Oktawia Nowacka of Poland on the final lap.
Coyle showed excellent consistency throughout, performing solidly in the fencing and swimming, but excelled in the showjumping, where on a different horse, the American-entered Christino, she scored one of only five clear rounds.
It left her within reach of a medal going into the final running-and-shooting round, but couldn’t maintain the same progress.
Coyle is enthused about how well she did: “I started in fifth and when you’re fifth and so close to the medals, you go “Ooooooooh!” but I’m delighted.
“I hard as hard as I could. I gave it everything.
“That was the main thing to do today – try and get personal bests across each sport and to come at the end of the day having done as much as I could have done.
“That last lap was painful, but I wasn’t going to let the Italian girl catch me, so I’m really delighted.
“Two places better than London!”
The last two Olympic champions, Lena Schöneborn of Germany and Lithuania’s defending champion Laura Asadauskaite, both suffered underpar rides in the showjumping and fell out of contention.
Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe lies 25th going into the final day of men’s competition at Deodoro tomorrow.
Coyle finishes a superb seventh in modern pentathlon
Reviewed by Sunday Owowo