Brilliant Batuleviciute tops Doha field
22 Oct 2017 - 12:42
Rizwan Rehmat | The Peninsula
Lina Batuleviciute of Lithuania yesterday produced flawless performances in fencing and riding to claim the top position at the season-ending Champion of Champions leg at Al Shaqab Arena.
The 27-year-old Lithuanian produced a tally of 1273 points on way to her gold medal performance that left her ‘surprised’.
“Yes, I am very surprised. I did not expect I would do so well. I did not come here thinking I would win in Qatar,” Batuleviciute said after the prize distribution ceremony.
“I think I did really well in fencing and riding. I felt comfortable though we had to start the swimming competition twice because of an error from a judge,” she added.
“But overall, I am very pleased with my effort,” Batuleviciute said.
“I came here to compete well but I found good early rhythm to dominate,” she said.
“I am happy to have won my second individual title. It is very pleasing.”
Batuleviciute managed a top score of 250 points in fencing but shared the riding competition with Anna Maliszewska (300 points each).
“My horse was very good. I think the competition was very stiff as there were so many tough competitors,” she said.
“It was clear that winning here would not be easy and it was very tough for every athlete,” Batuleviciute said.
Batuleviciute last month won the CISM World Championships held in Drzonkow, Poland.
Italy’s Alice Sotero finished in second spot with a tally of 1266 points.
(PICTURE) Podium winners, Lina Batuleviciute of Lithuania, Alice Sotero of Italy and Elodie Clouvel of France pose for a photograph with Ali Al Rumaihi, UIPM) Champion of Champions - Doha - Event Director, Bader Al Darwesh, Secretary General of Qatar Equestrian Federation, Dr Klaus Schormann, President of UIPM, and Jenusz Peciak, UIPM Executive Board Member for Sport during the prize distribution ceremony at Al Shaqab Arena yesterday.
Sotero impressed with her swimming session scoring 282 points, followed by 298 in the riding. The Italian managed 471 points in the laser-run, just eight off the tally scored by Batuleviciute (479).
France’s silver medallist at last year’s Rio Olympics, Elodie Clouvel smiled her way to the bronze medal with a score of 1261 points. Clouvel managed 236 in fencing, 283 in swimming (first position), 291 in riding and 451 in the laser-run session to finish in third spot.
“I loved competing here. This is an amazing place with an amazing venue,” Clouvel said.
“I am not sad at all. It was a pleasure being here. I did not prepare the way I do normally and yet I finished third,” the French star added.
“I wanted a podium finish. This is my second medal in Qatar. I am going to take this form into the next season, knowing that I won a medal in Doha,” Clouvel said.
“I want to take step-by-step when I prepare for the new season. I need to look at what I need to do to do better. My ultimate goal is to win the gold at Tokyo Games,” Clouvel said.
“I won the silver last year in Rio. I will start my training with this goal in mind. My principal objective is the gold medal in Tokyo. I have won silver and I seek a gold,” Clouvel said.
“My fencing and swimming were good. I have to say my horse was really good. There were no problems at all. And yes, I want to be back in Qatar next year,” Clouvel said.
Ali Al Rumaihi, Event Director, was joined by Bader Al Darwesh, Secretary General of QEF, Dr Klaus Schormann President of UIPM, and Jenusz Peciak, UIPM Executive Board Member for Sport, at the prize distribution ceremony.
The men’s competitions take place today.
The two-day competition, organised by the Qatar Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon Federation (QEMP) in collaboration with UIPM, has attracted 34 athletes competing in five Olympic disciplines swimming, fencing, riding, running and shooting.
Champion of Champions series brings together the best UIPM ranked athletes from around the globe for a spectacular event to crown the best male and female Modern Pentathletes in the world.
Russia’s World number six Alexsandr Lesun will be leading the charge in the men’s competition having won the gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games last August.