Natalya Coyle off to a flying pentathlon start with third in fencing

The Meath woman had 23 victories and 12 defeats during today’s ranking round
Natalya Coyle off to a flying pentathlon start with third in fencing

Ireland’s Natalya Coyle in action against Anastasiyat Prokopenko of Belarus

Natalya Coyle made a hugely impressive start to her modern pentathlon Olympic campaign in Tokyo today, racking up 238 points in fencing to sit in third place going into the second day of competition.

Coyle had 23 victories and 12 defeats during today’s ranking round of fencing at Musashino Forest Sports Plaza which currently puts her third overnight, though it’s very early days.

“It was really good,” she said. “I started off really well and I feel really happy to have done all the training and my coaches justice. I was very pumped all the way through, normally I conserve energy but we’ve got some extra time so I was pretty excited for each hit.

The 30-year-old Meath native is competing at her third Olympics, having finished ninth at the London Games in 2012 and sixth at the 2016 Rio Games and this marked a very promising start for her chances.

“I was lucky to bring some good fencers to the holding camp in Fukuroi and that showed justice out there today, they definitely helped,” she said. 

“There’s not as many left-handed people out there so you reset each time around. It’s the Olympics, the pinnacle of every sport so you are pretty up for every fight and the big thing is to not ride the losses. I try to stay nice and calm between rounds. It’s a big day tomorrow.” 

Coyle will next be in action tomorrow at 6:48am Irish time, swimming the 200m freestyle, followed by a bonus round of fencing at 7:45am and show jumping at 9:15am. The final event is the women’s individual laser run, where the medals will be decided at 11:30am Irish time.

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