THE IRISH PAIR of Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Natalya Coyle mounted a late charge on Sunday to win silver in the mixed relay event at the Sarasota Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Florida.
Both Arthur and Natalya represented Ireland at the 2012 London Olympics and found their way onto the podium in Sarasota after excelling in the final combined run and shoot event.
Earlier, Ireland scored 15 victories in fencing to begin the day in sixth position. Natalya and Arthur produced the second fastest swim time of 1:58,35 to move up to fourth overall.
However, a costly show jumping round from the Irish athletes saw them drop down to eighth place before the combined run/shoot event.
Natalya shot well for the first series making up ground on athletes ahead of her but it was her second 800m run where she surged through the field and overtook the leading Russian athlete and handing over to Arthur in first place.
Arthur kept his cool on the range and ran stride for stride with world number one and world champion Alexsander Lesun but the Russian proved too strong in the final 800m and pulled away from the young Irish talent.
The Irish team’s time for the combined event of 11:56,16 was the fastest.
Canada came through to take the bronze medal.
Arthur now returns to Ireland to resume training after a three week altitude camp in Colorado. Focus will be on the second World Cup event in Cairo in March where Arthur and Natalya will be aiming to replicate this form in the individual event.